I've been saying "basically" too much in everyday conversation. "Basically" or "it comes down to" are two phrases I think should be used more sparingly than I do now. I also want to stop using the word, "a lot." Isn't that a form of measurement literally speaking?
I've been traveling once again, but this time in Texas. The longest drive yet was to San Antonio last week. It took around fourteen hours, only stopping for gas, by the time I was finished. I alternated listening to "This American Life," "The Story of Edgar Sawtelle" on audiobook and a sprinkling of music here and there.
The episode "Heretic" on "This American Life" (TAL) is amazing. It's crazy to think the United States still has heretics at all, but apparently many churches still tag men and women as true heretics. TAL focused on an American evangelical pastor who had a super church and was very charismatic and successful in his preaching. One day he was watching a news segment on African children. He prayed and asked God why He would allow such suffering in the world and how he could save everyone. Eventually, he felt God was telling him people on earth make their own hell for others and themselves...everyone is saved. Basically (I know, I know) there is no hell and everyone is saved. I don't know where God and I stand most of the time, but I really liked this idea. I want to believe everyone is going to heaven because I do not think people who are homosexual, Islamic, etc. etc. DESERVE to go to hell. Humans create their own hell here on earth. Listen to "Heretic on "This American Life" via podcast: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/ if you can and let me know what you think!
In addition to TAL I listened to an audiobook. "The Story of Edgar Sawtelle" is a definite read. I wanted to buy the book, but it works as an audiobook as well. The narrator has a scratchy voice that fits in with the rustic narrative of the novel. I think Oprah picked it up as the next book for her book club. Oprah usually has pretty solid choices.
I couldn't make the trip without listening to some music. My friend Nick showed me the "Genius" playlist feature on my iPod before I left. So, you pick the song and start "Genius." Then it automatically picks 25 songs based on your selection. I chose "You Don't Know Me at All" by Ben Folds and Regina Spektor. Genius picked Radiohead, the Stars, Fleet Fixes, Death Cab for Cutie, Sufjan Stevens, and Feist. Sweet!
Once I got to San Antonio I hung out with Lynne, Steven and their four kids. We pretty much stayed close to home with the exception of a short trip to Alamo Heights. If Grant and I end up getting San Antonio as our next assignment it would be awesome to live there! There are decent markets nearby and the neighborhood is older and more established.
Then I went to to Austin to see good friends Barbara and Meetesh. Their little one is so adorable! We went to some really great restaurants while I was there including Pavlos (I think that's the name), Taco Express and The Salt Lick. The Salt Lick was awesome and a true Texas experience.
I'm hoping to end my time in Texas in Houston with my in-laws. It's been liberating driving across country by myself, but i'm happy it's over. I might go visit some friends in Dallas and that's it for me in the United States for 90 days. I'm really excited to return to Korea with a more open mind and hopefully better weather.