Another Hoop

There is a requirement here at Princeton Theological Seminary that all students complete two field education placements. As of now, the middle of my third semester, I have still not even seriously contemplated how I am going to fulfill this requirement. Recently, in the midst of finding so little motivation to do my schoolwork that it's unbelievable, I've begun to think that a good way to "fulfill" said requirement would be to drop out.

I know I won't actually drop out of school, but it seems a pretty tempting option sometimes.

I Tried...

I sort of liked my new blog template, for a while, but it ended up just being too complicated to add or change anything on it. So I've switched back to my old theme until such a time when I can actually spend 25 hours working on customizing a template that I like better than the one I have.


Change, originally uploaded by kate e. did.

Just got back today from a few days in Ithaca, NY, with, Rebecca, one of my two lovely college roommates. While she was volunteering on Friday afternoon, I bummed around the house for several hours and then decided to take some photos of the waterlogged leaves on her deck.

Poetry Is Hard

For my class on the Epistle to the Hebrews, I have to write a paper reflecting on all of or some portion of the first six chapters of the letter. Dr. Wagner encourages creativity, so our reflections can take the form of art, poetry, or music if we would rather not pursue the more traditional formats.

So, because I've been feeling a little more artsy and less smartsy lately, I've chosen to write a little poetry. (My next project will probably take the form of photography.)

Some of you might think I'm taking the easy way out with all this creativity nonsense, but let me tell you, it's mighty difficult to write a poem that isn't complete garbage. Perhaps Dr. Wagner and Amy Peeler don't know good poetry from bad, but I doubt that's the case.

Letting the text guide my words without letting them put me in a strait jacket is tricky. Finding exactly the right words and transitions to express what I want to is like walking on a high wire. I probably could have written a more traditional reflection in less than an hour, but I've been agonizing over this poem for the past two days!

Maybe this is just my way of avoiding the other work that I have to do... Who knows? Whatever it is, it's a good thing it's satisfying because it's taking a freaking long time!

The Weight of the World

The Weight of the World, originally uploaded by kate e. did.


Spiny, originally uploaded by kate e. did.

Another view of my precious little book.

Can't wait to go to Talas and buy some cheap little things to make this hobby more enjoyable.


So, I mentioned before that I was interested in taking up bookbinding as a new hobby. Well, folks, I've gone and done it. As of Friday, I completely the binding of my first ever book. It's a tiny baby of a book, and it looks a little rough, but it was 100% handmade by yours truly.

Here's a picture (click on this one to see some other perspectives):


Because I don't have "real" bookbinding supplies, I had to improvise a lot. It was a fun process. The paper I used is standard printer paper in various shades. Each page is the size of 1/8 of a sheet. For the cover papers of the end signatures, I used an award certificate I'd received that was printed on cardstock. The covers are made from davey board that I salvaged from a book Andrea helped me make senior year of college. The beautiful blue thread that I used for the coptic stitch binding is blue embroidery floss, which I waxed using a scented candle.

In all, I spent between 6 and 8 hours working on this little gem. It was a very satisfying endeavor and now I have something useful that didn't cost me anything but some time and a little effort. I was a little worried that the coptic stitch would be beyond me, but it turns out that my sewing talent helped with that part of the project.

Anyway, if anyone is interested in having me make a book for them or for a gift for someone else, let me know...I bet we could work out a good deal. And, the end result would be enjoyment for me and for you.

Taking Care of Business

After classes end today, reading week has begun. It will be a good time to catch up on some work and, for me, a good time to get off campus, too. I'm looking forward to a visit with my lovely, long-lost roommate, Rebecca. I'll be heading up to Ithaca, by way of NYC, on Wednesday and coming back to PTS on Saturday evening. It's hard to believe that I haven't seen her since last Christmas! That's a long time, people.

Over the next week I have a a sermon, an exegesis paper, a reflection paper, a midrash, and a midterm to write. There's also some reading and translating and studying for an in-class midterm thrown into the mix just for kicks. I just take comfort in the fact that the work always gets done.

So, the upcoming week should be good and busy... Yeah, that's all I've got.

Boys and Girls

Boys and Girls, originally uploaded by kate e. did.

I Don't Think They'll Sell This One

When I Grow Up...

Sometimes, while living in Virginia with Emily, she would sometimes ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up. My most frequent answer was, "I don't really know," or a shrug of my shoulders.

Now that I'm in graduate school, the same question looms every time I prepare for another class, every time I write a paper, every time I sign another student loan document. What do I want to be when I grow up?

Since arriving at seminary, my answer to that query has been "I want to study the Old Testament," or "I want to work in church education," or something along those lines. The problem is, that answer doesn't ring true anymore. Maybe it's the result of being in school almost constantly for twelve of the past thirteen months, but the thought of studying for another five years after the completion of my current degree program sounds, well, awful.

In the past few months, as I've become more interested in photography and, more recently, interested in the art of bookbinding, I've begun to contemplate whether it would be possible for me to pursue such things as a career or, at least, as a hobby that pays. I'd be glad to have a more traditional 9-5 to pay the bills, but my dream is that I wouldn't need to. I could tend a large vegetable garden behind a modest home, make books, sew things, take photos, cook large, delicious, mainly vegetarian meals, indulge in hospitality, and sell beautiful things to people who might appreciate them.

Can I dream such daring things? Or would such a path be a waste of the knowledge and skill I've acquired at college and now graduate school?

To those who ruined my lunch,

Sometimes I like to meet new people. There are days when I become extra perky for a few hours and have fun asking all the same questions I've asked a million times before. Today was not that day.

I wish that you had not been so interested in rescuing me from my solitude. Sometimes I don't mind being alone in public places. Maybe I would like to let my thoughts wander and enjoy the taste of my food without conversation.

It's not that I'm really ungrateful, but as soon as you sat with me I knew that the more would follow. And, after they sat down with us, I knew that conversation would turn into friend-talk. Friend-talk is wonderful, I love doing it myself, but it's exclusive. So, no matter what I do to break in and no matter what you do to include me, it doesn't work.

So, conversation became stilted and ordinary, which made me want to finish my food as quickly as possible and leave. It made me want to leave the table I was sitting at so peacefully, all by myself. Then, when I wanted to leave, I felt it necessary to stay for a few more minutes just to make sure it didn't look like I was trying to get away from y'all, even though I did.

Anyway, the next time you see someone sitting alone, don't assume they want company. Sometimes they don't.

Yours truly,
Cranky McCrankypants

Etsy Your Heart Out!

I have to tell you, I am addicted to a site I recently discovered, called Etsy. It's like eBay or Amazon for all things handmade. You can purchase everything from handmade books to one-of-a-kind sculpture to fine furniture and jewelry. Obviously, there is also plenty of crap and some of the stuff is way overpriced, but there are a lot of great sellers on the site that make some really wonderful items.

I've only purchased two items from Etsy since my poor grad student status automatically negates much frivolous spending, but I still love to snoop around the place thinking of things that I could make, either for myself or as gifts. A particularly fantastic part of the site is that most of the sellers are willing to work with customers to create personalized, one-of-a-kind items, so that you get exactly what you're looking for.

My favorite seller, so far, is Froydis. She uses old, falling apart books and dust jackets to make beautiful hand-bound journals. I can only hope to someday make books that look half as good as hers. The whole site makes me want to give up on school and start making books and selling framed photos...

Anyway, if you like crafty/artsy things or if you need a gift for someone who does, Etsy is a good place to start and finish your search.

Awesome Things That Happen When You Don't Have Money OR Insurance

Several weeks ago, I noticed that one arm of my eyeglasses was beginning to come off. This situation was distressing because I need my glasses to see stuff, y'know? Since I noticed this, I have been extra careful... The problem is that being careful only lasts so long.

This morning, as I was putting my glasses on, the arm that had been threatening to fall off, finally gave way. It's not a tragedy; I have another pair of glasses. It's just that these glasses are blue and plastic and make me look like I'm trying to be a sassy emo chick. Not to mention, the prescription isn't too far wrong, but it's also not completely right.

I guess I'll go talk to the financial aid office and see if I can get a few more dollars in student loans for next semester to cover a new pair. For now, I guess I'll be a sassy emo chick...

From Another Angle

From Another Angle, originally uploaded by kate e. did.

In Case You Didn't Know...

If you are a fan of Radiohead, you can buy a copy of their newest album for the low low cost of however-much-you-feel-like-paying. Just go to their website and pre-order the download. You will have the entire album in a little less than five minutes. Just a warning: the site is moving pretty slowly just because there is a lot of interest in this album and the almost freeness of it.

Coming from someone who hasn't much liked some of the most recent Radiohead albums, I'm digging this one. It's got a more mellow feel than some of their other stuff, especially "Hail to the Thief." Anyway, the most it's gonna cost you is 45 pence, so you might as well check it out.

The Library Hates Me

I went to the Princeton Public Library today in order to get out some books about bookbinding. "Why?" you ask. Well, the answer is simple, I want to learn how to make and repair books. Another why? Just think of the artistic gift-giving potential. I love books, I love paper, I love photos... I'm starting to drool thinking of all the possibilities.

Anyway, I arrived at the library after a fruitful trip to the Lindt store and a fruitless trip to the closed-for-Columbus-Day Post Office, only to find that the books I wanted, which the catalog claimed were on the shelf, were, in fact, missing. Two lovely librarians tried to help by looking through the books yet needing to be reshelved, but alas, there was no finding these books.

I'm sorely tempted to go on and just buy some books, but I know that such a venture would not only be an affront to my nigh on empty wallet, but I also might purchase worthless books that will be of little help in my quest to develop a new skill set.

I guess I should look at the bright side. Even if I got the books I wanted, and started learning fun new things, I wouldn't have the money or time to really pursue this new interest. Perhaps it's providential that I was unable to find much tinder for my new desire.

Woe woe. Alas, alack.


Nibble, originally uploaded by kate e. did.

Fall Blooms

Fall Blooms, originally uploaded by kate e. did.

End of Summer

End of Summer, originally uploaded by kate e. did.

Sony, How Do I Love Thee?

My phone is dying. I dropped it on the stairs. It worked pretty well for a while, except for the one button that stuck a little. Whatever, it was still taking and making calls. Unfortunately, that stopped yesterday. Now it's delaying to the point that I can't answer calls.

I thought that I would have to buy a new phone, but when I checked the AT&T website last night, I found that, since they are desperate to retain all their Cingular customers, I was able to get a new phone for free. So, even though it's sort of annoying that I have to do the whole new phone thing, it's really nice that I didn't have to pay $180 for it.

So, this is your opportunity. If you desperately want to get on my speed dial, you can email me your number... I probably won't call, but you'll be in there.


Greed, originally uploaded by kate e. did.

This is possibly the best picture I've taken in a month. No editing, not even a crop. I'm very proud of this one, with the perfect asymmetrical framing, the sharp detail in the foreground and the beautiful soft bokeh of the sun through the pine branches. Oooooo...I love it!

And, yes, I did deserve that pat on the back. Thank you very much!