Monthly Archives: November 2004

We Parked In A Building

Recently we went to see The Wiggles at an afternoon concert in the middle of DC. That means a forty minute drive to the city, navigating through crowded city streets that I’m not familiar with, finding the concert venue, and finding a parking garage near our concert venue. Then we watch the show and, afterward, return to our parking garage to discover it’s jam-packed with other families trying to leave at the same time. So, thinking on our feet, we drag everyone back out of the garage to find a toddler-friendly restaurant and supper before returning to our now-empty parking garage just in time to enter DC evening rush hour traffic. It took us 2.5 times as long to get home as it took us to enter the city.

The day after the concert I was hoping Cora would bubble over with excitement about how she loved seeing The Wiggles. Fishing for one of those smiles that would make almost anything worth the cost, I asked her what she remembered about the concert. Her answer was, “We parked in a building.”

A Stranger To My Brothers

On a recent work-day at my church, where I was helping clean up the grounds, we found 13 empty scotch bottles around the property. They were all the same brand, and some of them were still in their weathered paper bag wrappers.

I have to think that the person who obliterated himself 13 times outside of our church selected that spot for a reason. I can’t help but imagine what he was thinking as he delved into drunkenness just outside of the building where God’s love and grace and help-in-time-of-need are preached.

Inside the church we say that God is good and he loves you. Outside the church men are evil and do terrible things to one another. On the edge of the parking lot is one who wants to believe what he was taught as a child but has seen or experienced too much evil in this world to accept God’s goodness as an uncomplicated truth. He stands outside the circle of believers and asks why his belief doesn’t come so easy. Psalm 69 speaks his mind:

I am a stranger to my brothers,
an alien to my own mother’s sons.
I sink in the miry depths
where there is no foothold.
I have come into the deep waters;
the floods engulf me.
I am worn out calling for help;
my throat is parched.
My eyes fail
looking for my God.

Why I Like Kimchi

Kimchi is a Korean vegetable dish that I make from cabbage. It’s spicey and salty and crunchy, and I think it’s totally delicious. But the thing that makes kimchi a walk on the wild side for me is how it’s prepared: kimchi is made from rotten vegetables.

Okay, they’re not rotten when I start, but they’ve definitely begun fermenting by the time I’m finished.

Kimchi is made by soaking cabbage (and any other fruits or vegetables I might care to add) in salt water for 8 hours. Then I add spices, pack it all into a jar with a lid, and leave it sit out—unrefrigerated—for a day or so. This is the part that makes me feel brave. Do you know what a bacterium can do with 24 hours?

Once it’s done rotting on the countertop it goes into the fridge, possibly for days but at least until cold. Mmm…cold, crisp, salty, kimchi.

Yep…cold, crisp, salty, bacteria-infested kimchi. That makes this Milquetoast a wild man. Yum.