Don’t Be Stupid

I have something I need to confess.  I share this so that I may unburden myself, to submit my actions for your collective consideration, and ultimately, your judgment.  Here we go.

I helped my son build a beer pong table for his dorm room.

Now I’m sure you can now see why I needed to confess that.  It’s something I’ve been wearing as a yoke around my neck for the last week or so, I need some spiritual relief.

Beer pong, for the uninitiated, is a game frequently played by college students. It involves a pool-rack configuration – a triangle – of cups at each end of the table.  Contestants try to throw or bounce ping-pong balls into the cups, which contain various types of beverages. If your ball lands in an opponent’s cup, they must consume said beverage. All your cups are gone?  You lose. House rules vary, but that is the general idea.

You may be asking yourself, why would Rick do such a thing?  Why?!  Doesn’t he know that this is only going to encourage the kind of ill-conceived shenanigans that we warn our college kids to stay away from? Doesn’t he know what a bad example he is setting for his son, that he is providing tacit permission for his kid to carry on, to indulge in Animal House-like behaviors, ultimately at the expense of his college success?  Doesn’t he know that he has made the path to debauched excess that much easier to navigate?  Haven’t you thought of these things?  Good grief, man.

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Gooyash

I found this while cleaning up some files on my hard drive.  It is something I wrote for our second Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church cookbook.  I am a member of a gospel choir called the Cedar Lake Seven, which is based out of BMPC, and this story chronicles some of the adventure we had when touring Hungary in early 2002. It also provides my take on Hungarian Goulash, one of the more memorable meals we had on our trip.

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In the early 2000’s, the Cedar Lake Seven had an opportunity to visit Hungary.  They was the result of an exchange, a partnership with the Reformed Church of Hungary.  The Hungarians had been to Minnesota a few years earlier, and made the gesture of inviting the Americans to come and see them.  It took a few years for it all to come together, but we made a plan to go in the fall of 2001.  After September 2001, the world changed, and we had to alter our plans.  We would up delaying our trip by a few months, and it moved forward in the spring of 2002.

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Good Knight

Robin Williams died this week. When I saw the news, I started to cry.

Three days ago, I sat sniffling in front of my computer, wiping my eyes, trying to absorb what I was reading — that he was dead, and how it was that he had died. I was in shock and deep sadness for this man that I’d never met, and in the last couple of days I have been trying to understand why. We’ve all been witness to the passing of other significant people. Why does this feel different? I’ve never cried for anyone else.

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The Beans

She came from very humble beginnings.  Born in the deep South. Very close to where Texas meets Mexico.  She had four sisters and a brother – Blasita, Neche, Angie, Tenche, and Tommy.  She came from a home with both a mother and father, and depending on your definition of poor, they were poor — or they at least lived a very modest lifestyle.  Being a girl, of Mexican heritage, in a culture and at a time when society had prescribed and well-defined notions of the role of women, I’m not sure anyone really had any expectations of her at all.  Choices were for other people.  No, she’d find a man to take care of her financially, keep a clean house, look pretty, and have babies.

In 1935 she was 13, and was no longer attending school.  By 18 she’d given birth to the first of her six children, a girl named Antonia Annacelia, who would later become my mom.  Her name was Eva, she was my grandmother.

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Keep It Simple

I like to cook.  My wife likes to bake.  She and I have often discussed, that if we were ever to run away and start over somewhere, we would open a diner.  Jen would make breads, pies, cookies, and cakes – and she would also run the front of the house (sorry dear – you are much nicer than me).  I would be in the kitchen.  We would focus on well-executed comfort foods.  Everything would be made from scratch.   We would be a destination diner.  That Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives guy would come to see us with his film crew.  I am certain of this.

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