Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Redundant Expressions

From Professional Secretary’s Handbook

Redundancy – needless repetition of words and ideas – is one of the principal obstacles to writing clear, precise prose. The following list gives some common redundant expressions. The elements that are italicized in the phrases should be deleted.

old antique

ascend upward

assemble upward

capitol building

fellow colleague

consensus of opinion

habitual custom

doctorate degree

passing fad

free gift

past history

continue to persist

advance planning

individual person

new recruit

temporary reprieve

shuttle back and forth

completely unanimous

from whence

visible to the eye

My colleague, Lois has this book at her desk. It’s very interesting. I don’t know what to make of the fact that I find it very interesting. I like my job.

Monday, December 8, 2008

A Goodreads Review

The Man Who Was Thursday, Large-Print Edition The Man Who Was Thursday, Large-Print Edition by G.K. Chesterton

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
Very very good! Clever and wild and enrapturing. I stayed up way too late to finish this book. I will point out that it might be helpful to read the title page and the full title before or as you read the book. Chesterton pointed this out to me in an excerpt from an article he wrote that was printed at the end of the copy I was reading. Dan and I enjoyed reading part of this aloud to each other on the train to Chicago at Thanksgiving.

View all my reviews.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


I know we have been not so good at blogging. Here are a few pics from a couple of weeks ago when I first made successful bread! I went to my friend Virginia's house, who did all the steps with me except baking it in the oven. I have made a few more batches since then, including some for Thanksgiving.



Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Big XII BCS Armaggedon

So do I have this right?

Scenario 1: OU wins against OSU and then the computers and coaches to love Texas more because we lost AWAY to Tech and beat OK at a neutral site.

Scenario 2: Tech is so downhearted that they lose to Baylor.

Scenario 3: Tech wins, OK wins, and OK goes to Big XII Championship and loses to Missouri.

Scenario 4: Tech wins, OK LOSES, and Tech goes to Big XII Championship and loses.

One of these things have to happen for Texas to go to a BCS bowl, right?


Even though I probably agree more with the playoff system for fairness... I kind of like the complicated NONSENSE that goes into figuring out who will play what when where why at the end of the season. It is a fun game.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Just Another Election Post

Dan and I are currently reading Children of the Living God by Sinclair Ferguson for our Spiritual and Ministry Formations Class at Covenant. I am really enjoying it. I don’t have any specific reflections on the text, but I feel like it might have been sparking some other reflections I have been making lately.

On the Presidential Elections: Ya’ll, I am EXCITED about this election. This is strange, because I also understand and empathize with everyone else who feels fearful, disgusted, or annoyed by it all. Let me explain:

1. Last week I heard a news report on NPR. A woman was interviewing people from other countries, including some kind of farmer/herder person from the Middle East somewhere. The man told the woman that (despite the fact that he didn’t know too much about American politics) if Obama was elected, it would go a long way for him in believing America when it claimed to be a land of equality.

2. Anthony Bradley wrote a blog post for the St. Louis dispatch Civil Religion blog on The McCain/Obama Messiah Complex: "Americans strangely have messianic visions about the office of president in these tough times: "He will heal our land and make us prosperous.” Too many of us have been drinking from the weird Kool-Aid again. Don’t believe the hype! Neither candidate can deliver their messianic promises to fix the world. There’s a three-ring circus called Congress that will serve as the reality check on the candidate worship many Americans have been duped into practicing lately."

So here is how I see it: I am probably going to vote for McCain. I also think he will probably lose. But when I am sitting on my couch and watching the election coverage the night of November 4th I am only going to be proud and hopeful no matter who has won. Why? Because Jesus is Lord, not the next president of America. And because God is going about this business of advancing his kingdom either way. The President has power over our future, yes. But I have no fear of this! I am freed from my fear because I know that God is the one who provides for me (even when “my” candidate wins.) And God is not up for election.

So I am left with excitement. Because this is a big decision for our country. It matters who is elected. But since I know God provides for me, I am free from the insane anxiety of the negative consequences of electing either candidate. I am free to eagerly anticipate the good that could come.

I seriously want McCain to win. I generally think Republican policies are much wiser for our country. But I am also totally weirded out at how excited I would be to have Obama as president and the possible peace and reconciliation that could promote in the world.

I understand why Americans are fearful of whom to elect. They believe the world-view that this is the single person who has maybe the most sweeping power over their lives (which is probably even false from a secular perspective). But if you are in Christ you must not succumb to this way of thinking. You know that this is false. And you also know that God is your heavenly father whose affection and love for you exceeds your conceptual ability. It gives you stability in an unstable world.

(I couldn't find the exact NPR report I heard, but this one is similar.)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Reformation Sunday Worship Service

The Reformation.  I have nothing profound to say but that I am grateful for our ancestors in the faith.  

Tonight, Brittany and I attended the Reformation Sunday Service at Memorial Presbyterian Church here in St. Louis.  

A guest minister preached on Isaiah 6:1-8.  This passage is a very familiar passage for people in the Reformed circles about God's holiness.  My initial reaction was to think, "Oh, I've heard this.  I know this passage.  I've lead a Bible Study on this.  I don't need to hear anything else on this subject."  But man, I am very wrong.  God's holiness is not something that is mundane or old.  The sermon didn't change my life, but it did remind me that I should not forget how different I am from God- and how he became like men to redeem all of us.  

I am grateful for the Reformers reminding us of this truth.  The truth that God's grace is the only thing that saves us.

Sola Scriptura. Sola Fide.  Sola Gratia.  Solus Christus.  Soli Deo Gloria.   

Monday, October 13, 2008

Hmm upset

I just needed to post post-Longhorn victory.  I just didn't want Colt McCoy to be at the top of our blog anymore.

I was really sad on Saturday, but I'm glad my wife was happy.  But it was still hard.

The end

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Longhorn Lovin'

Colt McCoy

Dan was not in the greatest of moods on Saturday. I was.

What a good game, though. I wish I had done a Chuck Klosterman-esqu commentary through the game to document all my ranging emotions. OURUF has totally messed me up. I found myself simultaneously cheering and sighing when Texas made a good play. I would snap my fingers with me right hand and high-five Dan with my left when OU completed a pass. It was very schizophrenic. But of course I really do love my alma mater the best and I'm glad we won. I love my husband more, but that doesn't change anything.

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Good, the Bad, and ChaCha

The Good

Today I had an interview to work at a church here in STL part-time starting in December. I won’t say exactly which church it is, since the position isn’t officially open yet for some reason. Tomorrow morning I am going to call them and tell them I will take the job (if they’ll have me, which I think they will). This job sounds really awesome. It will be a little bit of tedious stuff like record-keeping, but also some creative things like putting together flyers or calendars and things. It’s also the front desk position for the church office. And they are flexible around whatever class schedule I would have at Covenant (the girl I am replacing is about to be a Covenant graduate). So, I’ll let you know how it goes.

The Bad

Since Saturday, I have been having several symptoms which clearly indicated to me that I probably have a urinary tract infection. Today Dan and I decided to get me to a doctor to get some antibiotics. After my interview at the church, we were directed to a clinic at a hospital which was supposedly an urgent care clinic that took walk-ins. There was a clinic, but it didn’t take walk-ins. We called some doctors offices that took our insurance. They couldn’t see me until December. They told us to go to another hospital that also supposedly had an urgent care clinic. It didn’t have a clinic. Instead we spent 3 hours at the emergency room waiting to see someone. THEN they have the gall to tell me I DON’T EVEN HAVE AN INFECTION. Apparently my urine is just fine, thank you (can I say urine on the internet?). The PA says I am just having bladder spasms. So we go to leave. To top all of this off, we don’t even know if or how our insurance will cover this possibly exorbitantly expensive bout of bladder spasms because we haven’t received my insurance card in the mail yet. So, I’ll let you know how it goes.

some text
I am working (?) as a ChaCha guide. If you don’t know what ChaCha is, you should go to the website here. Using ChaCha is free except normal text messaging rates from your carrier. So you can use it and not only get useful information with your cell phone but also make me money. So far I have made a little over $7. But I haven’t worked very much, and your pay rate doubles once you start answering above a certain threshold amount of queries in a given time span. If you are interested in becoming a ChaCha guide like me, talk to me about it. (If I refer you I can get a bonus.) So, I'll let you know how it goes.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Discovered: Quality Espresso in St. Louis

I admit it, I have become a snob when it comes to certain beverages- especially beer and coffee. Regarding coffee, I have been ruined. After being trained and having the freedom to pull espresso shots at my leisure on a very quality commercial machine, it takes a lot for me to enjoy espresso from most coffee shops. By no means am I an incredible barista, but if I know that I have pulled better espresso than the baristas at the shop, I won't bother ordering it. I'd rather drink subpar drip brew than par espresso.

Since leaving Norman, Second Wind, and the Lundgaard Coffeehouse, I haven't had a quality cup of espresso. But, now I hope. I have found it at 4251 Laclede Ave in the Central West End of St. Louis. They roast their own beans, they use a very quality espresso machine, and their staff knows coffee. Well done Northwest Coffee Roasting, you just gained another customer.

[For those of you who care, they pull Northern Italian style of espresso that is lighter in color, lighter in body, a little fruity, with some flora notes.]

Friday, September 19, 2008

Banking in the Midwest

"This is gonna sound weird but..."

Dan and I had just finished up some banking at our local Bank of America. Our very nice personal banker associate, David had helped us consolidate some credit cards and change my name on our new accounts, etc. The last time we had come to the bank, David had offered us some Cardinals tickets. Unfortunately, they were for the Friday night my parents are coming to town to visit us, and we had to refuse. This time, David had no cardinals tickets for us. Instead:

"This is gonna sound weird but... do you guys like cucumbers?"

"Sure," said the Smiths.

It was nearing 6 o'clock closing time, and apparently someone had brought home-grown cucumbers to work that day and one really huge one had gone untaken. David returned with not only the cucumber, but some dog treats wrapped in a money envelope for our dog, Lucy.

Is this weird to anyone else? I have NEVER gone to the bank and left with anything but cash in my pocket. But here in Missouri they apparently give gifts to you when you come to the bank. Cucumbers, dog treats and cardinals tickets.

Upon handing us the dog treats, David said, "Here ya go, a late wedding present, if you will."

One other thing to note is that I am applying to work at this Bank of America location. They really are ridiculously nice there. Both David and his boss Richard said they would call the Bank of America recruiters and recommend me for the teller job that is posted. And I had already seen a notification of their referral when I got home tonight. So maybe I will get to work there and 1. get lots of free dog treats/produce 2. Get the scoop on why they give away fun free stuff so much...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Comin Right Up

I haven't blogged in a week or so because, well because I'm BUSY THANK YOU VERY MUCH. That and I've been cooking. A lot. I've realized that when you cook a meal everyday for not jut yourself you are little more conscious of providing a complete meal that has a variety of foods and seems somewhat balanced. No just eating mac and cheese for your whole dinner. (3 nights in a row)

I'm also a lot more excited about meals. They are challenging and I want to impress Dan with something good (I'm sure this will fade). And when the plates are on the table, I end up making him wait so I can take pictures to show you people.

First we have tonight's meal:
Ribeye steaks marinated in soy sauce, EVOO and steak seasoning
Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Blood Orange Juice and Tequila (for me)
DSC05052 copy

September 16:
Salmon with Tequila Cream Sauce
Blanched Asparagus
Sliced Avocado
DSC05047 copy

September 12
Ceviche with Shrimp, Tilapia, Sweet Potatoes, and Avocado
Modelo Especial
DSC05014 copy

I think this was by far the worst meal we've had. The raw fish just didn't taste good. And I like sushi. So I'm not really sure what went wrong.
DSC05020 copy

Finally, on another topic, Lucy is really excited about Halloween. She tried on a cotume possibility recently:
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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Some Wedding Photos

We got our wedding photos in the mail! Here are a few of my favorites:

Getting ready. The AC was only just starting to work properly when we arrived at the church.

My wonderful bridesmaids!









Tuesday, September 2, 2008

This video goes out to my brother the day after his birthday

Last night our friends the Lathans came over to grill some yummy chicken and corn and bratwursts. Sara and I were messing around on the computer for awhile, checking out sites like Fail Blog and Engrish and Cute Overload. We found the above video and laughed so hard we cried.

Dan is back at school today. I am taking a class with him on Monday nights, Spiritual Ministry Formations. That starts next week. Other than that I'm just at home getting house-type stuff done. And avoiding the huge task of writing thank-you notes. I will probably start some of that this afternoon.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Dan and Brittany in STL

Dan and Brittany in STL

Brittany: Well, here's our bloggy blog.

Dan: It's been a month since we got married, and almost two weeks since we moved to St. Louis. Today we got internet in our apartment and thought it an appropriate time to start our blog.

Brittany: Our blog, together. Both. We just doubled our readership by getting married and combining blog-forces.

Daniel: Now as we munch on popcorn from our new popcorn popper,

Brittany: (A wedding gift!)

Daniel: ... we're opening a little window so people can see our St Louis adventures.

Brittany: In blog form, of course. Cause we're so cool and tech-savvy.

Daniel: Is that how you spell savvy?

Brittany: I think so.

Daniel: I'll look it up on my computer. Hey! Why are you still writing that?

Brittany: Because I'm trying to be an accurate recordist.

Daniel: Yeah, that's how you spell it. Wait! Are you doing the whole... conversation. People will get bored at this.

Brittany: Okay we can end here.

Daniel: What about the title name. Why are we calling it Hot Like Tortillas? Or should that be another entry. Hey I thought we were ending it there. The transcription.

Brittany: We can save the title name for a future post. Maybe no one cares anyway.

*Right after this entry, Dan got his first drunk dial from a wrong number in St. Louis. Someone was looking for the shuttle to take them from the stadium downtown.

** Right after we wrote this I told Dan: "First blog posts are just like first dates. You just have to get it over with."

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