Friday, August 24, 2012

7 Quick Takes, Volume 2

{story of a soul, condensed}

Did you catch my first round of 7 Quick Takes, thanks to Jennifer at Conversion Diary, two weeks ago?  Look here for the lowdown.  And now, for your reading pleasure (hopefully!), seven pieces of my life lately...

via Instagram
{1} There's a rebel grafitii-ist afoot.  Seriously!  Every once in a while, I'll see positive words like these painted here and there around town.  I'm not exactly sure about the ethical merits of vandalizing public property or whatever, even if it's nice vandalism, but it's hard not to smile when I come across stuff like this.  Andrew and I spotted this little piece of work on the beautiful rail trail that winds all through our area.  Some of my favorites, besides this one, have said "Life takes time" and "Breathe...you're alive."  We've been trying to run together lately and it's fun trying to match each other's paces!  Naturally, my hubby is faster.  When he gets too far ahead, he'll loop around and come back to where I am, like a little orbit.

{2} Speaking of my sweet husband, he started a new job last week!  He's now teaching freshman English at two colleges, and I'm so proud of him.  It brings me such joy to see his soul at peace, having found the exact work that brings him alive and doesn't even feel like work.  That kind of peace definitely helped him on his first day, when, at a stoplight, Andrew and our car were the victims of a crazy turn of events.  A stranger got out of his own car and, unprovoked, approached Andrew yelling and motioning for him to open the doors.  Long story short, this man climbed on the hood of the car and smashed the windshield.  Miraculously, thankfully, Andrew's safe, and the damage wasn't unbearably expensive.  It was funny though, to experience a major event separately, rather than together, for one of the first times.  No one was able to get the license plate number of this man, which we've just been trying to see purely as an opportunity for mercy to be poured out.

{3} Call me antsy, but it's around this time of year that I start making a Christmas list!  I love giving homemade presents, but since they sometimes take a little longer to make, I try to get a head start!  If you're a knitter like me, definitely visit this blog for some gift inspiration!  The Purl Bee is an amazing SoHo, New York boutique full of gorgeous yarns and fabrics, and their blog is full of incredibly modern, chic projects that will completely erase any preconceptions you might have of knitting as an old lady hobby. I always leave the pages inspired, and they have tons of helpful, step by step tutorials.

via Instagram
{4} The best time of the year, in my opinion, is coming so soon!  Few things make me happier than crisp air, skies that seem a deeper blue than usual, bright leaves, and Pumpkin Spice lattes.  I've been trying to take advantage by eating lunch outside during the day, instead of at my desk like usual.  Bare feet, sunshine, and a book are the perfect way to transport myself from work for a while.  It's like a mini picnic every day!  Glory.

{5} While we're on the subject of books (prepare yourself for a slightly nerdy analysis here), I just finished one this week, The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides.  I'd read another of his novels, Middlesex, for a lit class in college and fell right away for his wit, creative style, and ability to really inhabit his characters and make me feel like I knew them in a deeper way than most.  He's pretty frank sometimes, but I just find him such a sharp, honest observer of people in a way that never makes his language seem gratuitous.  Anyway, as a former English major, I was pretty excited to read this, his newest book, which is about...an English major, a girl named Madeleine, and the complicated love triangle she finds herself in after graduation.  There's a smart, literary boyfriend with a mental illness, plus an adoring boy next door who undergoes several spiritual conversions, including one with Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity.  It all sounded pretty interesting, but you know what?  This book actually left me cold.  None of the characters seemed to develop much or even be passionate about anything; they just kind of drifted through their lives, and I struggled to identify with what was or wasn't romantic. To be fair, I suspect Eugenides' points might have included that the entire generation portrayed suffered a sense of aimlessness, suspicious of religion, and that the relationships in the story weren't meant to be seen as romantic below the surface.  It's always kind of a downer when fictional characters are so lost and so obviously missing an understanding of the good, the true, and the beautiful, you know?  So, all in all, not a total waste of time, but definitely nothing too shining, in my eyes.  Have any of you read this?  And, what should I read next?  I love recommendations!


{6} It's been hard for me to believe, but we've been settled in our little apartment for just over a year now.  For me, the prospect of at least another year here has made it feel a lot more permanent, rather than just a short-term thing, and I'm in a decorating bug phase!  My current dream is to create an affordable, pretty gallery wall with a mix of paintings, prints, and photos.  I bought some canvasses and paint last week and am super excited/apprehensive to pretty them up!  In the spirit of things, I put this inspiration board together.  I'm so inspired by simple, graphic statements, summery brights, and religious art that's not too formal ( I love, love, love the image of Mary at the Annunciation, just sitting in her room!).  I think some color and bold pattern would add so much life to our hot cocoa-colored wall.


{7} And last, for your Friday, a song I can't stop listening to.  Remember when I wrote about the Ache?  The Civil Wars capture it perfectly; they know what it's like to yearn for someone.  This song, "To Whom It May Concern," reads like a more poetic version of my longtime desire to just meet my husband, already.  As if the subject matter weren't enough, their exquisite harmonies will kill you.  Listen here!


Visit Conversion Diary for other Catholic bloggers' 7 Quick Takes, and have a  wonderful weekend!  What are you up to?


6 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness, I am so glad Andrew is okay after that! So scary!

    I am so looking forward to the fall as well!

    Nice graffiti makes me smile too!

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    1. Thanks so much! It's actually funny how fast we've been able to mostly move past everything already.

      My mornings have been cooler lately--I'm counting down until that lasts all day!

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  2. I love fall so much. It's definitely my favorite. Although I'm definitely looking forward to the spring season :)
    I can't believe that happened to Andrew! But I'm glad everyone is okay.

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    1. I can definitely understand you being excited for spring =)

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  3. Love fall and love the Civil Wars! I'm actually listening to them on Pandora right now! I plan to participate in my first 7 Quick Takes this Friday!

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    1. That's awesome, I don't have a station for them yet! And yes, I guess we'll be Quick Takes newbies together! Looking forward to reading yours!

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