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Archive for the ‘winter’ Category


snow day 2009

i am in the dc area to do a wedding. the biggest snow storm of the year has other ideas.

i couldn’t even get out of my in-law’s sub division and don’t know when i will be able to return to nyc.

so trapped in the house with no place to go….gives me time to work on my blog a bit. i’ve neglected it since early december. the last few weeks,  i’ve been pouring my soul into advent, christmas and wedding sermons and couldn’t keep up. but the point of my blog was to practice writing every day…and i was already doing that.

we’ll see how it goes…….

Posted under winter

the magical winter: the end

most people see the end of winter with the advent of warmer weather and rightly so….but the winter also symbolizes the holidays. so as we bid farewell to the magical winter, a flashback to the richness of the season…friends and family, babies, christmas and new year’s.

and we are getting another kind of flashback this morning with the snow!!! in march? in late march?

and an even sadder flashback…as our beloved tree is put out for recycling……symbolizing a death of sorts…..

but rarely do we associate the spring with death….the days are getting longer…the warmth of life is peeking through…trees and flowers start to come out and we anticipate new births and magical times in this next season.

Posted under christmas, winter


the magical winter: lent 2009

lent is the spiritual discipline of fasting or adding to have more time to reflect on the life, death and resurrection of jesus from ash wednesday to easter sunday. clearly i haven’t given up facebook or internet for lent like many people seem to have in the city. i decided not to give up something but to add something this year.

i’m reading to my baby girl while she’s still in the tummy everyday. we are going through the whole bible, children’s version. there are a few on the market but this one presents the scriptures as a cohesive story as god shows his deep love and grace over time. we just finished the first testament last night. according to theresa, she quiets down and doesn’t kick when i am reading. its sweet and quite magical.

Posted under winter

the magical winter: valentine’s 2009

we’re not too into fake holidays and marketing schemes to boost the economy. but i still like to treat my girl right and get her a little something. i try to do this frequently and not just during this gap between christmas and spring break.

theresa is hard to shop for for valentine’s. she doesn’t like flowers. she doesn’t like perfume. she doesn’t like handbags. she doesn’t like chocolate. so why get her something from a gourmet chocolate internet boutique?

because its not chocolate! and she loves spicy! i periodically get these caramels from this site that have different levels of spice….i’ve gotten her the fiery habanero caramels before but this time i got her the smoky chipotle flavored ones. not as much kick but still fun.

if spicy and sweet seem awkward, consider that the first chocolates were spicy. over the years, people learned to prefer the sweeter kinds of chocolate though dark still remains a favorite amongst avid chocoholics!

as for what theresa did….she cooked and we had a quiet night in. a function of being old foogies? maybe more like pregnant foogies.

Posted under winter

the magical winter: gearing up

after a warm spot, we are back to reality in the heart of winter. the dead of. we’re right in the deep. but luckily, its turned and we are just a little over month til breezy spring. the days have even started to get longer. but until then….i’m bundled up:

i love winter because of the gear that i get to wear each year…..and i go to the same familiar pieces each year. they are like old friends that i go to war against the elements with….they’ve been with me for many winters…we’ve gone through a lot together…we have stories we can tell together…..i trust them. theresa looks at me with dismay as i talk about them like they are alive????

first up is my trusty skull cap that theresa gave me almost 10 years ago when we first me when i headed to urbana. i’ve worn it ever since…and have had some close calls losing it…including this year when i was sure i lost it at a starbucks when i tried to juggle too many things….i prayed a sad sack prayer: jesus, i know that you have more important things to do but could you materialize my hat in a place where it could be found? 20 minutes later, someone texted me to inform me they found it in the back seat of their car, which they found strange since they had a full car and no one saw it a day earlier.

up next is my beloved neck warmer which my groomsman, the big p, gave me way back in the early 90’s. it is a secret weapon against the cold and keeps me toasty when the hat is not enough.

to keep my fingers warm especially lugging groceries to and fro in the winter, i have my glittens which i got from bachrach right before i met theresa or thereabouts. actually in the city, it doesn’t get that cold for me to use these that often. however when it is cold enough, they’re great to have.

when winter comes, i exclusively wear 3-4 sweaters the whole time including my roll necks that are some of the warmest sweaters that i’ve found. durable and a little odd….it seems very much like joseph gear.

this year however, on the insistence of my mother in law…and due to her financial funneling…i picked up a new winter jacket. i was actually looking for a new formal jacket because theresa said i looked pedophile shady with my worn out overcoat. yikes! but on the way, we found this that seemed very joseph too…it has tons of hidden pockets and little touches. we found out later that it was designed by a korean dude out in la which made theresa approve.

and it is one of the toastiest jackets! in the cold, i am entirely content. sometimes its too warm! when i enter into a building, if i don’t unzip quickly, i can get sweaty real fast. an incredible winter jacket and one that i hope to have for many years.

and here’s that more formal coat for dressier occasions in the cold! no watchlists for me!

that’s how i roll in the winter….the winter that is coming to pass so soon.

Posted under winter

the magical winter: my favorite music video of the season

most people would think that the new u2 video is my favorite video of the season…..
Get On Your Boots

but in reality, i like this mad, mad, mad world video. its all kinds of crazy. you’re in for a treat if you haven’t seen this yet…..

they may not always bring it in concert…but this video brings it!

Posted under coldplay, u2, winter

the magical winter: the killers at msg

this is not just another blah blah blah story where we are in the front row for another top bill. we were actually content not to be in the front row because of theresa’s pregnancy…she didn’t want to be crushed. she also needs to move around….and she needs to pee..and there’s no way getting back to the front once you depart. so we started off here. off to the side still with a great view. besides, we had church earlier in the evening and didn’t want to rush, cut out on hanging out with people just because of pit tickets.

we knew we would not be in the front row….

and theresa is not unhappy…that’s her regular smile. the frown smile. she’s in the pit at msg. that’s good enough. and baby seems to be excited…..she’s kicking up a storm.

then 3 giants moved in front of us and blocked our view! and we could see…the backs of big white dudes.

there was a spot in the front row open all night and i made the last second call to go up there. i think people did not embrace this spot because they thought it was too far left but it was better than standing behind that wall of goliaths. in fact, we were in a great spot! its the front row after all!

every band seems to artificially designate msg as the pinnacle of their career. perhaps its just nyc. perhaps its hype. perhaps its the acoustics….or perhaps it really is magic…this place and the people….

whatever it is….because of it…they bring their a-game!

the music was non-stop tonite. no chance to breathe. and what was wonderful was they played a longer concert. gone was the shorter 16 track teaser. in its place, the killers pumped out 20…almost in the u2 range….and yet another challenge to chris martin and his band.

again, the new songs made sense live. i don’t know what happens in translation from songwriting to studio ….but sometimes the spirit is diminished so they can be singles for mass consumption. live is the way they were intended to be!

i wanted to hear more of the new album though they played a hefty chunk of it.

in nyc, we got the favorite ‘on top’ which has not been played anywhere else on this leg. i still would have preferred another new track especially one of the slower ones that i have a hard time wrapping my mind around. also…i’m less motivated to be patient with them on my ipod. when its live, i’m held captive.

all in all….not bad for showing up late….front row railing is still front row railing…….and the killers always put on a great, great show!

with no new tickets from here until delivery…this might be it pre-baby.

post-baby? stay tuned.

Posted under killers, winter

the magical winter: new u2 single

i haven’t been in nyc for a u2 single launch since 1987 during the with or without you release ahead of the joshua tree.  for desire and rattle and hum, i was already in boston for college. i was in wheaton, illinois when the fly signaled the advent of the achtung, baby years. when discoteque came out for pop, i had moved to maryland. that’s also where i was when beautiful day and all that you can’t leave behind reintroduced u2 to the masses. for vertigo and how to dismantle an atomic bomb, we were vacationing in boston as we huddled with good friends from efcon to hear the new single.

it is an event….the first new sounds of something that will become part of the fabric of our lives. and as i detail elsewhere, part of our soundtrack.

this time, we were in maryland visiting with theresa’s parents on a snowy morning as get on your boots, the first song from no line on the horizon premiered. i did not wake up at 4:55am to listen along with ireland and the world…but listened to it at a decent hour after we slept in.

technology has changed since even the last album a few years ago….instead of waiting while some pompous dj in love with the sound of his own voice teases us with delay upon delay, we went on the internet…the official website of the band….loaded up the song and the lyrics…and got instant access. if you have not heard it yet, try goyb.u2.com

theresa liked it right away! this was real punk by her standards….but the masses may not embrace it. i agreed with the latter statement.

as to whether i liked it, i need a few more listens. but i’m biased. i like everything(eventually)….except maybe beautiful day. it just takes me some time spent with the music. only a month more until the rest of the album is released! this is usually an event for the magical fall….but i’ll take it for the magical winter!

Posted under u2, winter

the magical winter: dc for obamanation?

we headed down to dc in the snow and freeze the weekend obamania hit the md/va/beltway region…the beltway, a circular highway is the primary means of getting from a to b for most washingtonians. because of the influx of millions, people were told not to use the beltway at all. also bridges and tunnels would be closed. if you do the math, they were telling you to stay home. for natives, this must have been a drag. or a snow day without the snow.

for most outsiders, the energy was electric with change, change, change everywhere……

but we weren’t in town for barack. we had another kind of change to celebrate. i got to do the wedding for a student i’ve known for a long long time. he practically grew up in the home that i rented a room in for many, many years when i was a youth pastor in md. there’s a special joy in doing these kinds of weddings and it was a grand old reunion with many of easten’s friends and classmates….many who came to my wedding when i invited them off the cuff…

having students attend my college and subsequently making friends with their friends extended my wheaton experience in an unexpected way. it was like getting a second and third college experience. a blessing i received with joy and humility. in theory, i could attend every reunion on campus from here on out and reconnect with dear dear people.

so you can have your inaguration and freeze out in the cold waiting to be part of history. i had a grand old time in the shadow of the hype and the hope. we had our own history, hype and hope…and we kept warm the whole time.

Posted under winter

the magical winter: holiday trains at citigroup

we wanted to do something magical and new yorky for q and christe’s boys, amoz and theo so we headed out for an afternoon at the station at the citigroup center in midtown. it was a free exhibit for the holidays and tons of families came out. we got there just in time as the crowds went exponential in the hour we were there.

amoz hopped onto daddy q….and we were on our way. this was one of two rounds that amoz made to view the exhibit.

it was an elaborate multi-track, multi-train scenic exhibit with the trains whizzing by at different speeds. they recreated scenes of the new york city area from times past when trains owned the hearts and imaginations of americans.

the detail was amazing….magical….for little and big kids….a feast especially for train fans.

amoz was more interested in riding real trains…or at least touching the trains which would have landed q in jail but we found this display and took a few pictures before amoz went for another round with christe and steph while i watched theo.

this was my favorite display as they snuck in this scene with a nod and a smirk.

the holidays bring out the wonderland in nyc and was glad to share it with the lee boys. can’t wait to share it with jaq jaq and my baby girl.

Posted under winter