The Keurig, the Chemex, and Dietary Gnosticism

The imagery, the analogous descriptions and the language used here to talk about everydayness and production consumerism using coffee making machines is simply, exquisitely: EXCELLENT.

The Salt

Picture There’s no way that anyone could be that happy while drinking instant coffee.

Over this past holiday season, I found myself in the coffee-machine sections of several retailers, in search of an espresso maker to give my mom. None of these stores had what I was looking for, instead, their shelves were well-stocked with assorted variations of Keurigs, Nespressos, and the accompanying accessories.

For those who may be unaware, a Keurig is a coffee-making device that is designed for convenience. There’s a small reservoir which users fill with water every couple of days, and coffee – which comes in pre-measured little pods (“K-cups”) – is dispensed in seconds through a small valve. Clean-up is a breeze – when you’re done, all you need to do is throw away the used plastic pod.

If the Keurig is at one end of the coffee-making-device spectrum, then the Chemex is at the other. For…

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Go Down the Rabbit Hole: A Writer’s Manifesto

Writing for Digital Media

1. You are the work. The work is you: both an articulation of the self and a possibility for self-reflection. Be honest in creation: allow yourself to bleed into the work, but also allow it to work on you. Your work can show you things: illuminate and clarify your own thoughts, motivations, actions. If you do it right, you will find the work changing you, too.

2. Thinking is process. Laying on the floor. Sitting on park benches. Getting lost on purpose. These are all working. Learn the difference between mindless distraction and mindful wandering.

3. Go down the rabbit hole. Sometimes the work isn’t about what you think it is. Allow yourself to get lost down alleyways, to follow a train of thought around a corner. Don’t feel you need to reign yourself in. Too much focus squeezes all the possibility for revelation out of the work.

4. Fear…

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Best Worst Year: Episode 83 (Or, Heal)

Sundog Blog

You read a poor Tagalog translation of handwritten prayers on your mother’s dresser. Your cousin has mistaken aswang for multo. Even you–whose native tongue died in his mouth years ago–knows the difference. Aswang is an evil spirit. A Filipino vampire. A dog. Something wicked. Your cousin has been looking to redefine herself at college. Away from the vanilla-colored hallways and powder-burned lockers of affluent homogenization, now the pale Pinay recessive genetics have a second name and second life in the stadium-seated lecture halls of state colleges. She eats rice without utensils, wants to go to Manila, asks her ate and kuya about jeepneys and sari sari stores. Her younger brother obsesses over XBox and the Nets game on TNT. You clean rice in the kitchen–rinse by hand three times. Cold water. You feel it in your knuckles. It’s snowing only enough to be nuisance.

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Truth is I Love the Church: An Anonymous Letter

This was extremely moving to me. I am extremely touched. Whoever you are I hope Allah Almighty (God) gives you true, perfect peace. I hope you find answers, I hope you find the perfect questions to ask and I hope that God liberates you. I hope that you gain an insurmountable amount of respect so vast as cosmic nebulas that Satan will think twice or ten times before coming near you. I don’t want your struggle to feel alone. I will admit it so that you can hear it too. I am a sinner. I am flawed. I am a sinner but I want Allah Almighty to still love me and forgive me. I want that God hears both of us and embraces us with Love.

Simul Blog

A friend of Simul Blog asked us to publish this. We were glad to provide a public platform for these thoughts and concerns.

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Dear Preacher,

This is one of the hardest letters I’ve ever had to write. These are hard things for me to say, but I know that they are devastating for you to hear. I know because I’ve watched you unravel when we had this conversation face to face.

Then you asked, “So what is it that you aren’t hearing from me that you need to hear?”

I answered honestly from a place of brokenness, “I need to hear how the life of Jesus speaks into my failures. I need you to preach the gospel to me.” I sat with tear filled eyes and watched you come undone as the words left my lips. The confusion on your face. You didn’t understand. This letter is an attempt to explain myself.

I’ve sat under the…

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2014 in Review

(CAT)HERINE


 For all Facebook is good, great, and even exceptional at (namely turning 1.23 billion average joes into classified stalkers), the social media giant falls short when it comes to candid moments. This I realized when I tried out its latest “2014 in Review.” It’s great idea for the few users who actually post regularly rather than simply hit refresh during a slow day at work, but for normal people like myself? There’s was a lot of 2014 missing, for one thing, and many random moments I would hardly even consider a “moment,” much less one that defined my year. I guess that’s why studies show that my generation is leaving Facebook for Snapchat by the masses.

Here’s the thing, though: the very thrill of snapping your friends, i.e., Snapchat’s self-destructiveness, may be able to capture quick moments, but it’s no good if you have a mother who needs copies of all…

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poem for Jack

Shawn L. Bird

This poem was sent to me by my father-in-law, following the notice about Dusty’s euthanasia today.  It’s so lovely I thought I’d share it with you.  The author, Christopher Tatchell Winter, was my husbands 2X great grandfather.  I will check, but I believe it would have been written around 1900. (Ignore the way WordPress mangled the spacing in the first stanza).

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Dear, dear little Jack, my companion & friend

Few now are my years, soon cometh the end

And I thought to have had you until I depart
But no more will I lessen the pain of my     heart

My dear little dog, so faithful & true
I never shall know another like you
Much that passes for love may be but a
cheat
But your love was constant & full & complete

No more will you meet me & run half a mile
To leap in…

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