Week 23 – Anniversary 4

#157 Drinking from a Salt Pond

05 June 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

My favorite thing about getting into running has been being able to dig into some podcasts and good music a lot more.

Every few months or so I put up a blog post featuring some of my recent recommendations. No surprise that the most recent one happens to be dominated by what’s been coming in through my earbuds.

On the music side of things: Run River North, Gallant, and Jack Garratt have been getting a lot of plays from me lately.

Some fun podcasts: The Splendid Table, Gastropod, NPR’s Embedded, Sounds Good, and NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour.

#158 Mayonnaises

06 June 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

Homemade condiments are the best. Homemade things generally tend to be better, but condiments are one of the things that really allow you to taste the difference.

I made a batch of spicy mayo and a batch of herb mayo to go into different things over the next week or so, starting with tonight’s dinner of crab rolls. Mayo lends itself well to quite a few summer recipes, so the timing is perfect.

Plus, I have leftover egg whites. Macarons soon?

#159 Black Panther

07 June 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

I don’t know how long it’s been since I’ve bought a comic book. At least a dozen years, but probably longer.

What triggered this purchase? Ta-Nehisi Coates.

When I found out that the writer of what might be this decade’s most important book would follow up that piece by writing a line of Marvel Comics, I was intrigued. But it was great source material for him to be working with. Back when I was much more into the superhero world, Black Panther was one of the coolest characters, king of a technologically sophisticated African nation. It’s been fun to get back into the world of Wakanda.

I’ve mostly been going through these first few issues while trying to relax, and I’ve been enjoying them so far. Team T’Challa, all the way.

What else am I stoked about today? Well, Team USA proved they’ve got some fight in ‘em, with a pretty decided win against Costa Rica. I have a feeling the real Team USA is much better than they displayed against Colombia en la COPA.

Also, when I wake up tomorrow, it’ll mark four years that Deanna and I have been dating. My goodness. Life’s been sweet for a while now.

#160 Anniversary 4

08 June 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

I’m the lucky one.

The past four years have been wild. Both of us have gone through grad school, we’ve moved from Santa Barbara to Bakersfield to Oregon, we’ve done long distance while I’ve lived in a van or in Africa, and we’ve shared some of the best adventures ever together. We drove across the country with a brake missing. We’ve also had to carry each other through stressful jobs, tragic news, and rough transitions, and we’ve been experiencing the excitement of getting married and talking about what sort of family we want to build.

There’s absolutely nobody I would rather be sharing this amazing and often ridiculous life with than my best friend. I’ve told her again and again that so many others become better people just by being around her, and I get to benefit from that the most by being around her the most.

I Love you, Hun. Thanks for saying yes to me on the Goleta Pier four years ago. I think it’s worked out pretty well.

#161 Grown Up BLT

09 June 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

BLTs are classic favorites, no doubt, and one of the best things to be eating when the weather gets this hot.

I wanted to try and come up with a recipe for perfect “grown-up” BLT. I tried thinking through what an upgrade to each of the main ingredients would be.

Bacon became uncured smoked bacon with pork rind flakes, though I was originally trying to get pork belly to work. Lettuce became a romaine salad cut with arugula. I kept some full tomato slices in but also added in some sundried aioli. And since the most obvious upgrade to a BLT is avocado, I threw on some, along with homemade mayo all on homemade sourdough bread.

#162 Fight

10 June 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

“Loving your enemy. Doing good things for evil people. Never taking vengeance. Responding to violence with nonviolent love– even if it brings suffering. These are not options, but the primary character traits of those who claim to follow a crucified God.”

–Preston Sprinkle, Fight

Now this was a thought-inducing read.

I don’t find many authors who tackle pretty weighty theological matters like violence as honesty and sympathetically as Sprinkle. This book had intellectual merit, while still coming across as very relatable.

For me, Christianity and nonviolence have always seemed to go together. Turning the other cheek and loving your enemy were distinguishing marks of the faith from its beginning. Then again, historical Christianity doesn’t seem to have a spotless record when it comes to that. And the Bible can be a pretty violent text at times.

Preston Sprinkle goes through by looking at the trajectory of scripture, era by era. It gets weighty at times, but it’s an important topic and this has been one of the more accessible approaches I’ve seen to some of these questions.

What I appreciated most was his apparent lack of an agenda. He definitely takes a stance and makes his understanding clear, but not in a way that recycles mantras and oversimplified arguments from cookie-cutter viewpoints. He stands for nonviolence, but not in a way that seems lost in empty idealism.

It was refreshing to see somebody unpack a issue in such an honest way. This book was written not to advocate a specific viewpoint, but to wrestle with some often-complicated questions.

#163 Kona Prep

11 June 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

My to-do list today was about twice as long as it usually is.

At the end of the day, I got it all done. Setting Beignet up with her babysitter. Packing my backpack. Getting a haircut.

It’ll all be worth it next week.

Kona, here we come.