Quiet Anthem

Honest Faith :: Bold Vulnerability

Monday, November 04, 2013

What I'm Into :: October, 2013

I know, I know: except for these What I'm Into posts and the random book review, I haven't been on here much. It's been heartbreaking to know that I have to put my writing on hold to focus on my responsibilities, but my time will come. At least I hope it will. Here's why my time hasn't come yet:

So Much Work 

What with Super-Committee! duties, meetings (all the meetings!), an additional class thrown into the mix mid-semester, and presenting at a teacher's conference in Tucson, October was my month of 60/70+ hour workweeks. Plus, I've added a few editing/writing gigs to help supplement our income. 

I'm teaching teachers how to teach

A Processional of Brides-to-Be

For every Saturday in October that I was not at a conference, I was at a bridal shower. I didn't roll my eyes once at any of the games, namely because my friends are classy. Exhibit A: 

With the lovely and beautiful Brianna, who is now a Mrs.

Dressing Up is Fun to Do

In 1994, when I was 17, I stopped celebrating Halloween--even though I'd always loved dressing up--because of that video Halloween: Trick or Treat? (Don't judge.). Even though I hadn't become a Christian yet, I took to heart the commentary about the "holiday" having roots in paganism, with annual sacrifices that take place even to this day. On principle--for the babies and the kitties--I hadn't "celebrated" it since. But this year, perhaps it's because it's been my year of stepping out of fear and away from legalism, I decided to "celebrate" with my church family, in costumes that were sweet, without regard to what Satan has tried to do to manipulate and control people. We're free, and this is how we showed it: 

The girls went as faerie princess butterflies who love Hello Kitty

Storm Troopers, and princesses, and two Dorothys, oh my! 

Nicole and Jon went as a deer and hunter
Here, in the sequel to Mary Poppins, Mary and Bert
discover how far a spoon full of sugar can go. 
The adult after party
Some of my students did this at a campus event.
Greg, the girls, and I joined in.
I got professional development points. 

Escapes to the Movies

Gravity :: Greg kidnapped me from a 14-hour workday during a 2-hour break, so we could watch Sandra Bullock and George Clooney flirt in outer space. There's a scene in which Bullock's character tries to pray but admits that she had never learned how. It was heartbreaking and fully-alive, all at once. I loved this movie for its brave acknowledgement of humanity, of the unknown, of leaving everything out except the mysterious ache of wondering if the protagonist will survive.

Captain Phillips :: Late one night after a Prism planning meeting (WOO!), Nicole and I dodged across the street to catch this movie in plush seats with a waitress at our service. This movie's moment came because of Tom Hanks. This man is freaking genius. He played Forrest Gump twenty years ago. He starred in Joe Versus the Volcano, for crying out loud. But here's the thing about Hanks: when I watch him, I'm not seeing him but his characters. With Julia Roberts, whom I adore, I only see Julia Roberts, but with Hanks? I meet the character he embodies. In Phillips, Hanks portrays shock with a depth of visual and emotional accuracy that should be taught in film schools.

Starbuck :: On Netflix. The plot: a young man in the late eighties donates a ton of sperm to a particular bank. Twenty years later he discovers he's fathered over 500 children, a fifth of whom want to meet him. Hilarity and poignancy ensue.

If I watched anything else, chances are it was merely to decompress, and I likely fell asleep during it, so I don't remember the rest.

Etcetera, Etcetera, Etcetera

I'm still holding onto One Hundred Years of Solitude (Garcia-Marquez) as my longstanding read, but mostly I read essays. When I do, I've been listening to Adele on Spotify. There's something about her voice that allows me to block out the office noise and still tune into grading. If I'm not listening to Adele through my office ear buds, it's All Sons and Daughters. 

What have you been into? Do tell or, better yet, do what I've done: 

I'm linking up with Leigh et al. again. 

What I'm Into at HopefulLeigh


Renee Ronika said...

Your Mary Poppins costume is so cute I can't stand it. Love.

Renee Ronika said...

Thank you! I spent ONE DOLLAR on it (the flower). Your Ninja Turtle felt ensemble was amazeballs. I can't believe how much talent you have. I can sew a button on. That's about it. Sometimes I can't even get tape out of a dispenser properly. Don't even get me started on scissors (Crooked lines). Thanks for your continual support, friend.

Renee Ronika said...

Reading about how much you've been working makes me want to cry on your behalf. I hope this month will be more restful for you. So interesting to read about your history with Halloween. I loved seeing your costumes and assumed you'd always been dressing up and trick-or-treating. I wasn't allowed to trick or treat growing up and I'm sure I saw that video at least once! But I view the origins as very different from the Americanized celebrating that goes on, even though I know icky stuff still happens. Is Captain Phillips intense? I kind of want to see it because I love Tom Hanks and I heard the guy who plays the main pirate is AMAZING. But I'm not so good with intense thrillers so I'm on the fence about it. I still need to read One Hundred Years of Solitude.

Renee Ronika said...

Leigh, I so appreciate how thorough your responses are--a mark of a good reader.

I cry a lot, too. This is one of the darkest of seasons for my family. I'm not sure how to pray or hope my way out.

Captain Phillips is intense. The main pirate is such an ugly villain, and the entire movie's momentum is so real. I didn't think it was as harrowing as 12 Years a Slave (good God), but it's definitely a movie to watch when you're not interested in being lighthearted.

Have you read much of Garcia-Marquez? Maybe start with his short stories, or Love in the Time of Cholera, or even Of Love and Other Demons (a short novel).

Love you, friend.

Renee Ronika said...

Hi Renee,
Girl it's been too long. I have to admit I often check your blog hoping for some profound words that illuminate truth, but it is lovely to get an update on your life since this is the only way for now. On Halloween...at some point in childhood we celebrated a wholesome version at church. It gave us kids a chance to "not feel left out". In the UK there is very little pressure to celebrate...not even at school. Some do and some don't. But there is big emphasis on playing dress up on a daily basis if you fancy--for kids in playgroups and their version of Kindergarten. Its great! I personally don't celebrate it for spiritual safety.Can't give the enemy any ground when I know there is still ground from the iniquityfrom my ancestors that Jesus wants to cleanse. How awesome it is that you can walk in that freedom! We are all on our way!

Renee Ronika said...

P.s. I am absolutely smitten by your sequel? to Mary Poppins!

Renee Ronika said...

I feel exactly the same way about Tom Hanks! I love to watch him because it's not watching him, but it's his character! :) Wowzers, you have been working so many hours! Loved reading your What I'm Into post! :) Hope you have a wonderful November!

Renee Ronika said...

Thanks, Ginger! Can you think of any other actress/actor who does the same? Maybe Meryl or Sally Field? DeNiro?

The ones who I can't separate from their personas: Julia, Brad Pitt, Keanu.

Renee Ronika said...

Shalle, I miss you. I think about you often. I hope you'll find freedom. The generational stuff can be knocked out with one sentence and continual belief that it's covered, it's done, and that your family is free. Believe this, friend.

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