35 Random Facts

35 Random Facts

In honor of my 35th birthday, I’m going to tell you, gentle reader, 35 random facts. After 35 years, my brain is full of them. So here they are, in no particular order. [A couple of these contain affiliate links.]

  1. The teddy bear was orginially inspired by and named after President Teddy Roosevelt.
  2. It’s “octopuses,” not “octopi,” because “octopus” comes from the Greek, not the Latin. #knowyourdeadlanguageroots (also per a friend who is rather obsessed with octopuses).
  3. Extra dry champagne is sweeter than brut champagne.
  4. The aardwolf of Australia eats insects.
  5. The book as we know it – the codex – was originally made popular by the early church, which published all four canonical Gospels together – they fit really well in codices.
  6. If you get a chemical burn from, say, cutting jalapenos, pour milk on it. (There are other palliative options.)
  7. “Rocky Mountain oysters” and “prairie orders” are “polite” ways to say “bull testicles.” They serve them at nice restaurants here in Colorado.
  8. Anyone who creates a Target Circle account can get 1% back for all Target purchases.
  9. The average number of arms possessed by a human on earth is < 2. Still, there are more human arms than people on the earth. (Just think about it.)
  10. Despite the fact that she won Oscars in 1969 and 1978, among MANY other appearances and awards across the years, Dame Maggie Smith blames Downton Abbey for a fame that makes going out in public tricky business for her.
  11. Sleep apnea can significantly impact your brain functioning. Get that snoring checked and get you an ASV or CPAP or something.
  12. Endometriosis occurs across race, ethnicity, and nationality, in an estimated 10% of women.
  13. It takes an average of 7-10 years from the onset of symptoms to accurate diagnosis of endometriosis.
  14. Surprising brands that now carry up to at least size 24:
  15. Purple is the opposite of yellow.
  16. Early on in WW2, the USSR trained dogs to be suicide bombers. The idea was that the dogs, strapped with bombs, would run under the German tanks and blow them up. But they trained the dogs using their own tanks, so guess which ones the dogs ran under in the canine unit’s first battle. (For more, check out this article.)
  17. The spy and mastermind behind Argo, Tony Mendez, was also an accomplished artist. (HT: Retropod)
  18. Edible gold flakes is a thing.
  19. Pink used to be the “boy” color and blue the “girl” color. (See?)
  20. Juan de Pareja started life in the early 1600s as a biracial slave. He was inherited by the acclaimed portraitist Diego Velazquez. He became a painter in his own right, and was eventually freed by Velazquez and became part of his paid studio staff. There is an excellent, Newberry Award-winning middle grade novel about Pareja.
  21. The name “Lauren” is from Latin and means “a crown of laurel leaves.”
  22. According to ancient Greek myth, the first laurel tree was originally a nymph named Daphne who had the unfortunate luck to catch the eye of Apollo in one of his rapacious moods. He chased her when she refused him, and as she ran through the woods, she called out to the river god who was her father for deliverance. His solution? Turn her into a tree. Apollo was a sore loser and made her leaves his symbol of triumph and victory, which is why Olympic and military victors were crowned with them in the Greek and Roman cultures. He would so have not survived the #MeToo era.
  23. The crust of a baguette is formed by evaporating water.
  24. Pan sauces are really quick and easy to make, and add SO much to a sauteed chicken main course.
  25. The name “Rosamund” means “horse protection.” Maybe that’s why I like it.
  26. There is a little bit of all three primary colors in every naturally-occurring color. (per an artist-cum-teacher friend of mine)
  27. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart ran around with Marie Antoinette in her home, and he thought she was very nice because she was so kind to him when he slipped on the slick marble floors and fell.
  28. Michelle McNamara (Patton Oswald’s late wife) played a significant role in the catching of the Golden State Killer because she rebranded him as that. He’d previously been known by a variety of names: Visalia Ransacker, East Area Rapist, Original Night Stalker. By pulling all these different monikers together under one encapuslating (and catchy) title, she brought to public attention the full scope of his evil.
  29. Dr. Pepper predates Coca Cola.
  30. It is more likely that a sex trafficker in SE Asia will be struck by lightning than prosecuted for his or her crimes. (Noonday Collection)
  31. Sighthounds (e.g. greyhounds) do not have the smelling capabilities of the stereotypical dog, which is why if they get loose they cannot find their way home by smell, the way your lab or poodle could.
  32. 95% of diets fail, and most people gain more than they lost.
  33. Jeffrey Epstein didn’t kill himself.
  34. Originally, I & II Samuel, I & II Kings, and I & II Chronicles were just Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles. The I & II come from them being so long they didn’t each fit onto a single scroll.
  35. We all know about Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church, but there are currently three other reigning popes: Pope Tawadros II of the Oriental Orthodox Church (a.k.a. the Coptic Orthodox Church), Pope Peter III of the Palmarian Catholic Church, and His Divine Beatitude the Pope and Patriarch of the Great City of Alexandria Theodore II of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

I Can’t Stop Reading This Novel

I Can’t Stop Reading This Novel

Y’all, I love to read. I read all kinds of books. I listen to Currently Reading and What Should I Read Next?. I have a rather massive library. But The Lager Queen of Minnesota is SO good and has completely sucked me in. Is it overdue at the library because I got a late jump on it? Yes. Does it have a massive waitlist and am I screwing them all over by keeping it? *Cringe.* Yes. Is that stopping me? NOT AT ALL.

As a beer lover with a homebrewing husband, this book is especially fascinating, but I have it on good authority (*cough*ANNEBOGLEonCURRENTLYREADING*cough*) that one does not need to love beer to fall in love with this book. Currently Reading even has a minisode interviewing the author.

Seriously it’s SOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOOOD.

So what do you need to know?

  1. It’s not all about beer. There are also pies. And relationships. And Arby’s.
  2. Strong female characters dominate the interwoven narratives.
  3. The writing is fantastic, and so is the character development. I care about every single character in this book, and that’s saying something.

I’ll come back and post a follow up when I finish – hopefully in the next couple days or JeffCo Libraries will be taking alllllll my change.

I Have a Splinter in My Foot, or, Musings on Patience

I Have a Splinter in My Foot, or, Musings on Patience

This summer, my patience was tested by a number of circumstances. I can withstand children melting down, applying to job after job, and long waits before exciting things happen.

But apparently one of the limitations of my patience is the splinter in my foot.

So about a week ago, I got this splinter. I’m pretty sure it’s metal – we were taking apart and cleaning my outdoor sconces not long before I stepped on it (while sitting at the dining room table! COME ON!). When I initially tried to pull it out, it broke off.

It hurts.

I tried to get it out – with a sewing pin and tweezers and a baking soda paste. My husband tried to get it out, adding pointier tweezers to the mix. My mother-in-law, bless her, tried to get it out (she was in town, and why not ask for a little surgery?), soaking it for 20 min and then applying her gifts with all of the above. Then they tagteamed it. It went straight in, and every attempt to get it out was pushing it deeper into my heel. They decided that, in order to get it out, we’d need to excavate the area . No thank you.

Well it’s still in there. It’s closer to the surface of my skin – my heels are SUPER thick, so it’s taking a while. But I am weirdly obsessed with it. I’ve even had multiple dreams about it.

This reminded me that it’s easy for me to pat myself on the back for virtue that comes easily to me. Here I was thinking I had developed this incredible patience, when really, those instances of patience were not as hard for me personally to deal with. I was less uncomfortable having to be patient in those circumstances than I am in this one.

While this impatience does make sense psychologically – after years of chronic pain and illness, of course I would be more sensitive to physical pain, however stupid – it’s also a humbling reminder that I’ve not “mastered” patience. I mean, duh, but also, oh.

People Are Persons: An Introduction

People Are Persons: An Introduction

This is an introductory post in a new series on seeing and treating other people as actual humans. It sounds really simple, but there are so many ways in which we fail to do this.

So I was reading this really great book (click the pic for a good ole fashioned affiliate link – the Kindle version is on sale for $3.99!) yesterday. I’m only about a quarter of the way through – a full review is in order once I finish it – but I came to Ashley Williams’s chapter that really resonated with me and I posted this on IG and FB:


I’m reading Co-Laborers, Co-Heirs, a collection of pieces on the role of women in the #PCA, and this quote really stuck out to me. Here, Williams is talking about being a black single woman in the denomination, and the difference she notices between the way singles in particular are treated and celebrated in the church. This resonates because it is so true! We must be a people characterized by seeing and loving people because of their personhood. Single people are often treated as a separate category of church member – ESPECIALLY single women. It’s generally assumed that singles don’t want to be friends with married people, or at least with folks who have kids – which is completely bogus. The friendship between a single person and a married person (or, for that matter, between people or different ages) is not automatically a mentoring relationship because the married person is sharing their secrets with the single person who wants what their married friend has. What I’m saying is, singles are people too. Their promotions, their birthdays, their accomplishments and opportunities and gifts ought to be celebrated by their people, God’s family. They should be recognized and fully embraced as they are – not as a puzzle piece that we need to find a fit for. They have a place already – they belong to us, the Church.

Turns out that resonated with people. I suppose the time for this series is now.

Single women deserve their own post. (So do single men.) But for now, what I most want to say is this: People are people. Or, to put it in Charlotte Mason terms, people are persons. They are human beings, with innate dignity. It is so easy for us to think of people as less-than-persons in some way, even though our conscious minds would shrink at that idea. And as persons, we have got to start challenging that in ourselves. That’s what this series is all about.

[Don’t worry – there’ll be plenty of lighter posts mixed in because we can’t be serious all the time.]

Podcast Top 5: New Faves

Podcast Top 5: New Faves

I love podcasts. It started with two heavy hitters: Serial and Sorta Awesome. Not too long after I found gems like the epic true crime comedy podcast My Favorite Murder and the enthralling fictional show Limetown (that strikethrough is part of the logo).

These are still favorites, and there are many more I’ve listened to and loved, but I thought I would share my favorite newer (at least to me) shows that I cannot get enough of:

Against Diet Culture

  • Food Psych Podcast – Christy Harrison is an an anti-diet dietician on a mission to help people develop a healthy relationship with food and their bodies through intuitive eating and body acceptance. This podcast really does go a long way to accomplishign that. Not every episode is going to be directly relevant to every listener – but the ideas of intuitive eating make a lot of sense, and seeing them applied across circumstances by different people is really helpful.

On Books

  • Currently Reading – This podcast has literally transformed my reading life. I used to read a LOT more 2-3 star books, but hosts Meredith and Kaytee have led me to better-fit books for me over and over again in the last few months, and that’s leading to more joy in my reading as well as a willingness to DNF books that aren’t working for me, for whatever reason. As I’m learning with intuitive eating, when you know you can have “the good stuff,” you are less likely to fill up on stuff that isn’t so great. (Don’t worry; there’ll be a post about books coming soon.) Their bookish moments of the week make me feel less crazy, too.

On True Crime

  • The Murder Squad: Jensen & Holes – Is there any doubt that the rising star of true crime podcasts is this collaboration between two men – one a writer, the other a detective – who were instrumental in the identification and apprehension of Joseph DeAngelo, the alleged (but come on, he clearly did it) Golden State Killer?

On the Enneagram

  • The Enneagram Journey with Suzanne Stabile – If you’ve heard of the Enneagram, odds are good someone has mentioned the book The Road Back to You and told you to read it. Suzanne coauthored this book which has introduced so many of us to the ideas behind the Enneagram and how it can be useful. This podcast is a delight. Suzanne usually interviews a Christian with a big platform (pastors, writers, musicians, podcasters, etc.) about how they are their type in the world and in relationships. She also does Q&A episodes with her producer-son that are really helpful and insightful.
  • Typology with Ian Morgan Cron – Ian was the other half of the authorial team that brought us The Road Back to You, and while his podcast is similar to Suzanne’s, it has a different feel and approach due to his 4-ness (vs. Suzanne’s 2-ness). I would say he is more exploratory, while she is more therapeutic. I really appreciate both of these shows as I learn more about what the Enneagram has to offer us – and myself specifically – in terms of self-knowledge and paths to growth.

On the Christian Life

  • Thirty Minutes with the Perrys – Preston and Jackie Hill Perry, a married pair of spoken word poets whom I admire greatly, come at the dilemmas of life with humor, thoughtfulness, and a whole lotta Gospel. They started their podcast with a two-part episode on how they navigated Preston’s recent addiction to pornography. They are raw, intense, and real, and their understanding of God’s grace as mighty and transformative is really helpful. I freaking love them, and this podcast is phenom.
Easy, Drool-Worthy Everyday Seasoning

Easy, Drool-Worthy Everyday Seasoning

I don’t remember where I first learned about 7:2:1. I don’t *think* it was when I was looking for a cheap, homemade Christmas present to make for friends and family, but that’s exactly what wound up happening. Once I made it and we started using it on everything we made, I had to give it away. And it is the only gift I’ve given that has my people asking for it again.

Here’s a lovely fact: 7:2:1 is the easiest thing in the world to make.

  • You need salt. (Choose your variety! I’ve done Kosher, sea, table, and mixes of them.)
  • You need garlic powder. Not garlic salt. Garlic. Powder.
  • You need black pepper. (I usually use preground black peper for this. I suppose you could grind it. Have fun with that.)

Story break: A long, long time ago, in this very galaxy, there were these things called “analogies” on the SAT. The basic notation was all about colons. A “:” meant “is to” or “is related to” and “::” meant “as” or “in the same way as.”

You still see this sort of thing on some standardized tests; it’s just that they used to be really hard and an entire chunk of the Verbal Section and alllllllllll about vocabulary. So you’d have page after page of stuff like this:

You can see why they decided this was maybe not the best way to judge college readiness.

(Ignore the fact that obstreperous is not a sentence and the cursor bar. I made it up in Wrd and used the Snipping Tool – #snippingtoolforLIFE. But obviously my attention to detail was sorta lacking, and I didn’t save the Word doc, and it’s 1 am…)

BACK TO THE RECIPE.

The point of that story was to help you remember the recipe for 7:2:1. Because its basically saying 7 parts SALT, 2 parts GARLIC POWDER, 1 part BLACK PEPPER. It’s a relational recipe – 7 units : 2 units : 1 unit.

I usually do it in tablespoons. I typically think I have way more of something than I actually have, so doubling the recipe has had…less than favorable results. (Once, I had a spill and accidentally wound up with 7:2:2, which was a bit peppery for our tastes but some people love.)

Dump all that in a bowl.

Mix it up.

Clearly, it’s about time to make some more!

Now I usually decant into seasoning jars for gifts with a small funnel, but have started using this mason jar because we use it so much that I now wind up keeping most of it for myself (if not all) unless I’m specifically on a gift-making mission.

Y’all, it’s so good and simple and I use it in almost anywhere “salt and pepper” are called for. DE. LIcious.

Enjoy your 7:2:1. And the new SAT.

INGREDIENTS

7 T salt
2 T garlic powder
1 T ground black pepper

Instructions: Mix all. Decant into containers. Serve with everything.