call me crazy

But I need a motorcycle helmet. And I want this one:

The only problem is it isn’t DOT (Department of Transportation) approved. Dag nabit. Jeremy says they don’t make new ones like this anymore. I’m doing all I can to find one with this kind of blingy spunk.

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es Regnet

Holy toe-lito. Has it ever been raining here. Not sissy LA rain. REAL rain. Terrential rain. And hail. Thunder too, with lightning of course.

It’s awefully pleasant. Sometimes I think it would be romantic to live in a place where it rained an obscene amount of the year, or even an obscene amount of one particular season. Truth is, though, rain can get old. And–although I hate to admit it–depressing. But not this kind of rain.

This kind of rain is romantic. There’s a kind of storm-buzz in the air. Life suddenly feels strangely different, like we’re all playing parts in some big theatrical drama the universe is putting on. I love that about this weather. Especially here in LA, where it’s rare and unexpected. It’s like experiencing a city-wide blackout; everyone is suddenly on their toes in a kind of excited disbelief of what’s happening. Finally, adventure at our very own doorsteps.

I think our lives should be epic. Sometimes I playfully tell people I try to make my life feel as much like a movie as possible. But there’s some real truth to that and I think it’s good. A great movie shows little bits of life as meaningful parts of a whole. Everything matters, and with the help of music, camera angles, and good acting, we’re moved by a unique glimpse of life through a story. Yes, it’s true: some films are over the top, or too simplistic, or simply not realistic. But we go too far when we assume life–real life–is no where near as romantic. That we do not actually live in moving, meaningful stories, and that we can only get them from books and movies.

We do live in moving, meaningful stories. Epic stories. I think God wants us to remember that. I believe that more and more as I study the way He’s worked in history, as well as how He’s said it ends. I guess that’s why I like the stormy days so much. It’s fun to run out to my car in the pooring rain at night, only to get inside seconds before the hail starts. It’s good for me. It’s a nice change.

a couple of Movies Worth Seeing

There’s always something interesting happening in LA. Last night, while perusing the options for a mid-week date, Jeremy found a showing of a movie at the Grove, after which the lead actress would be present for Q&A. She’s up for a Golden Globe for Best Actress (for this movie) and the trailer looked pretty good, so we figured we better go see The Young Victoria. The movie is about the young life of Queen Victoria. The film leans more toward love story than historical drama in an intelligent, captivating, anything but over-the-top way. You can see why Emily Blunt (who plays Queen Victoria) is up for a Golden Globe, and her co-star Rupert Friend does an equally fantastic job. If you’re looking for a great date movie, I have to highly recommend this.

While I’m here recommending a movie, I might as well encourage you to see my favorite film of 2009: The Fantastic Mr. Fox.

Most people I recommend this movie to don’t actually go see it. I know I know, it’s stop film animation, which is different and seems a little odd, but it’s brilliant! The animation is incredible to watch, the casting is spot on, and it has all the wonderful elements of a Wes Anderson movie (among Wes Anderson’s other films: The Life Aquatic, The Royal Tennenbaums, and The Darjeeling Limited). It’s a great story, cleverly told. It’s the only movie Jeremy and I have ever seen in the theatre TWICE. Go see it. It may be at your local dollar soon.

new habits for the new year

I have lots of ideas for my life in 2010. Let me introduce you to two things I’m excited about for the new year.

#1: My new subscription to Real Simple Magazine

I had a subscription to this wonderful magazine during one of my college years (thanks, mom). The only problem with my previous subscritpion was that I never had time to read the thing, much less take its good-for-everyday advice, implement its helpful tips (the kind your mom knows all about), and try out its attractive recipes. Well this year I plan to explore and grow my domestic side, and I think getting this magazine every month (and finally having the time to properly pay attention to it!) will help.

#2: Our new family plan for reading the Bible in a year

Actually, reading the Bible and a half in a year. My mom introduced us to For the Love of God, by D.A. Carson, which is a book of short, theology-packed devotionals that correspond with daily Bible readings organized by a man named Robert Murray M’Cheyne in the early 1800’s. There are two neat things about the way this works. The first is that we’ll end up reading through the entire OT once and the entire NT twice. The second is that it’s uniquely designed to be done with family. So each day Jeremy and I read two chapters of the Bible on our own, and then two chapters + Carson’s tid bits together. So far it’s been an awesome way to be in the Word every day in a meaningful way. We also try and sing a hymn together before bed each night, which is a great addition (and we find prepares us well for our time of reading).

Some things on my also-to-be-a-part-of-new-things-in-the-new-year list: piano lessons, and the completion of our redecorating (we’re redecorating).

a most agreeable morning

We just had the most delightful morning, jaunting about the neighborhood. We made our way by residential streets to The Coffee Pot, a local coffee stop on Sunset (new to us). The sun was out, the air was clear, and shaded areas were pleasant enough for a light sweater. Meandering through the hills of Echo Park, we found these friends:

After stopping at The Coffee Pot for a Strawberry smoothie and some good conversation, we made our way down to the lake for a nice walk amongst the local wildlife.

To finish the trek, we stopped at Chango for my favorite breakfast burrito in town. Jeremy found the LA times and I found a flier about someone who teaches piano lessons in the neighborhood.

The walk back was as pleasant as it all began. What a lovely thing it is to live in Los Angeles.

In other news, Jeremy is now the owner of a 1971 Honda CB 350. It’s red and black. Well, see for yourself:

We love it. I mean how could you not? We’re dying to tool around town on it together, but Jeremy is still in his permit stage of motorcycle licensure (which means no riding with a passenger) and I still need a helmet. For now, it’s a great way to get Jeremy to run a quick errand.

Welcome to the Universe, 2010

In the spirit of the changing year, let’s quick bring back a bit of an old Scottish favorite.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne ?

For auld lang syne, my jo,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

Did you sing this on New Years Eve? Hum it at least? Please tell me you hummed it. This is such a great song, and we really only have an excuse to sing it once a year. (twice if you sing it right before midnight AND right after–more power to you.)

It’s the New Year. Yes, ok, I hear your criticism, this news is about seven days old. But it still feels fresh.

I love the new year. Not just this one. I mean I love when the year turns from one to the next. It’s not my favorite holiday, and I’m not always doing something teribbly exciting when the big moment comes (although I do have a longstanding tradition of calling my west coast friends from the “future” when I get to celebrate in Minnesota–I guess that’s about as exciting as one can get), but I get sort of giddy about looking ahead at an entire year that’s got NOTHING on it yet.

It’s not about the free calendar space. Allow me to use a self-constructed analogy. It’s about the magic of a blank canvas. Think back to art class in about seventh grade. (unless you’re kind of a painting artist–sorry, this analogy won’t work for you. Don’t feel too bad though. I mean, you can paint.) Your painting actually looks kind of good and you think to yourself, “hey, maybe I’m gettin the hang of this art thing.” In your state of overconfidence you also think, “wow, I think a person would look great standing next to that tree.” And so you throw some strokes on the canvas and it all goes downhill from there. Before you know it, your piece of “art” has become some kind of abstract collection of blobs with far too much brown. Or maybe you merged your person into that tree in hopes to undo what you started and now you just have a really obnoxiously fat, mostly unrealistic looking tree.

I’m not at all saying 2009 was a bad year for me. It’s just that for some reason the changing of the year (and more, the decade!) says to me, “Forget about all that stuff you meant to start last year–THIS is the year to start it all! You’re a new person with superpowers that will allow you to accomplish all the things you’ve ever wanted!!!” Nothing is that different. The world goes on as it does. There’s nothing technically “magical” about a new decade. But it’s like the universe is offering me a fresh start, and it’s cheering me on, too.

I suppose the changing of the year says the same kinds of things to other people, and that’s why everyone makes New Years Resolutions. I think it’s good for us all. It’s good to have a new beginning that the whole planet is on board with.

Here’s to the New Year! Best of the best to all of us in 2010!