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Where I live.

15 Dec

The new place.


 

My Church.

Generic Update

14 Dec

Apparently some people still read this blog, but it seems to be mostly people searching for shamwows. But, if you do occasionally check in on me for an update, you might have noticed I’ve failed you. Be that as it is, I’m making a decision to post more regularly. It won’t be everyday, and it won’t always be interesting. It’s more an exercise for me to get in the habit of writing because it was something I enjoyed doing and was also a way for me to think and write creatively and differently from most of my thinking and writing.

So, I am an Ohioan now and loving it. Having just come through the amazing colors of Autumn and endured my very first minor snow storm (with delayed flights and all), I can say as of now that I really enjoy the weather. I’ve always been one for gray skies and colder weather than California offers, so I think this should be a good fit weather-wise.

I began a Ph.D. in the Near Eastern Languages and Cultures department at The Ohio State University and have enjoyed it thus far. This program is strongly focused on languages so I ended up taking German, Arabic and Hebrew courses this quarter and will be adding Syriac to that mix the next quarter and probably Latin in the Summer.

I’ve moved in to a three-bedroom house that through providential circumstances is remarkably cheap and amazing. Thrift stores here in Ohio are incredible and they have enabled me to furnish it quite cheaply. There are still two empty rooms, for which I’m hoping to get roommates, but even if I don’t, it’s still a great deal.

I’ve found a Church, an Orthodox Presbyterian Church, in Columbus that I have been attending. Like a typical Reformed Church it appears to be cursed with a dearth of single females my age, but there is a sizable group of college age people who I have enjoyed getting to know. The church body itself is extremely hospitable and have made me feel very welcome. It’s not as liturgical as I would like (and I plan on posting something about my love of liturgy at some point in the near future), but it is a good church overall and I plan on staying there for my time in Columbus.

Now that we’re all caught up with the last 6 months of my life, I’ll see you around.

Pimp Master Flex

10 Jul

Ed has a grandiose notion of what a downtown should be. I’m not sure what he actually expects one to actually be, but he’s generally disappointed with how small they all are. Lake Charles, Louisiana was no exception.

We left New Orleans around 11am and stopped for lunch at Lake Charles, mostly because it seemed like it might be nice. We were wrong about that. We did, however, find a great place for lunch called Luna.

And that’s where it got interesting. Given that I’m travelling with Ed, my former housemate from Oxford who is British, there’s always a bit of questioning that comes when people hear his accent.

“What are you doing here, in the South?”

It’s not that they don’t like the British, more just that there really is no good reason for a Brit to visit the middle of nowhere. Our reason is somewhat strange anyway and takes too long to explain, because we don’t live where our trip started (DC), or where our trip is ending (Houston).

So, we attempt to explain it and it just causes more confusion.

Lunch today was particularly fun though. Our waitress was, shall we say, smitten, with Ed and his accent. When we explained why we stopped at this particular place (the lake), she mentioned suggestively that she was going to lay out later at the lake and maybe drink a beer, afterwhich she interrupts herself to see if we drink and how long we’ll be in the area.

After some more small talk, she interrupts Ed to let him know that she could listen to him talk all day long and, yes, that she wants him to read her a bedtime story.

Had I known I could have used Ed to get us free lodging all through the south just by having him talk to young cute waitresses, I would have pimped that fool out the entire time. Instead, I spent money on crap motels. Lame.

N’awlins.

10 Jul

After barreling through the rest of Georgia, the width of Alabama and then half of of the length of Mississippi, we finally made it to Louisiana. Thankfully we didn’t run across any road trouble and our repair job seems to be holding up fine.

As we drove through the South I was surprised at how beautiful the place actually is. I’m not really sure what I was expecting, but the intense amount of green is impressive. It really is a gorgeous area of the world, although I do appreciate it much more when viewed from inside an air-conditioned car.

We made it to our hostel about 7pm last night and took a quick walk down to Wal-mart to grab some stuff. If someone ever tells you “It’s three blocks that way” and waves their hand in a general direction, ask for specifics. We managed to eventually find the place, although the “street/gang party” we walked through on our way to wal-mart was being broken up by the police on our way home.

The French Quarter is mostly crap. I think I was expecting a Disney version of the place, given that my only exposure to “New Orleans” is at Disneyland. Rather than old architecture and jazz bands , there were strip clubs and drunk people. We did end up finding some jazz though at Preservation Hall and had a great time. I don’t think that alone would ever make it worth it to come to New Orleans, but it was good.

Unfortunately, I left my film camera at the hostel, so I was only able to take pictures with my phone. Here’s preservation hall.

Black Mountain, N.C.

7 Jul

Made it to just outside Asheville, N.C. last evening. Stopped to see a friend from Biola, Scott Tyler (Heinrichs), playing at the Town Pump Tavern after a skethcy dinner at a Chinese Buffet. I’m still alive though and strangely feeling alright, so it must not have been that bad. I haven’t heard Ed at all, and I’m not sure whether that’s a good sign or not.

Black Mountain is, unsurprisingly, in the mountains. Ed and I were a little disappointed/relieved, however, to see that the Tavern last night was not filled with Mountain People but instead a group of showered, shaved, and smartly dressed college-age kids.

Our car is doing well. We were giving a mostly full tank of gas to start and a $50 gas allowance and after having driven about a third of the way, have only put $20 in so far. With a combination of good  mileage and cheap gas, this trip really won’t end up costing too much.

And we’ll be off.

6 Jul

Ed found a company online that needs cars driven from random points A to random points B. One of those random Points A  just so happens to be DC.Eventually the car needs to get to Houston, so that’s the general direction we’re headed.

If all goes as planned, we’ll be picking up a 2004 Pontiac Vibe around noon today and heading off to the south, hopefully making it to Asheville, NC to stay with a friend tonight.

Also, I hope the rest of the south isn’t as hot as DC has been. Holy cow, this place is a sauna.

In D.C.

5 Jul

It’s been a while since I’ve written here, which is an understatement by any stretch of the imagination. It’s not that I’ve been too busy, it’s just that I needed a break. Rather than fill you in on the details, I figured I’d just pick up like I never left.

I’m in D.C. at the moment, beginning a road trip through the south with my former housemate from England, Ed. It’s been a lovely vacation so far, having spend the majority of yesterday afternoon/early evening napping in the shade next to the capitol building, followed by a fireworks show on the national mall.

Rather than leaving right away and getting crushed to death on the metro, Ed decided we should walk to a different station, at which there would be fewer people. As it turns out, Ed doesn’t know DC as well as he thinks and we wandered around. Everywhere. Twice.

We did eventually find the metro. In Virginia. With a new blister on the bottom of my foot. And 7 minutes too late to buy the 6-pack of miller highlife with which we were going to celebrate the end of a glorious day. (it turns out that you can’t buy beer at the grocery store past midnight. lame.)

While in DC we are staying at a random woman’s house we found through airbnb.com. A great website, but a bit sketchy for all involved if you ask me. She gives us keys, an airmatress, weird ‘i think they’re the gays’ looks, and assorted breakfast foods. In return, we pay her and feel awkward anytime she’s in the house. It’s only slightly more expensive than a hostel, and you don’t have to deal with loads of drunks stumbling in at all hours of the night or cart your stuff everywhere because some idiot might steal it.

Our plans for today  involve walking around D.C. and scouting out prime napping locations.

Ed just used his spray deodorant in the living room and I can taste it.