Monday, August 15, 2011


What is up with a lack of dairy free options? 
As you know, I've been sick a lot lately. I'm on some killer broad spectrum antibiotics because the doctors can't figure out what's wrong. Part of the issue, im come to realize, though it is not the main issue, is that a lot of food has dairy. PTS seems to cook everything in butter and a lot of options have cheese in them. I haven't been eating meat lately, I'm not too sure why but the smell and taste of red meat repulses me lately. And a lot of the vegetarian stuff has dairy. So I've been eating a lot of salads. But that is a problem because on the salad bar stuff tend to as I termed it "comingulate" (which was pointed out to me is not an actual word).  
Today I went to add some chickpeas to my salad and luckily I realized that someone had dropped some blue cheese into them. If I eat anything that touched dairy, I will have an allergic reaction. My reaction is also steadily getting worse. The smallest iota of dairy will set it all into action. I am sick of getting sick because of dairy. The chaplain on campus is having me talk to dining services to see if we can figure something out but I feel really bad because I do not want to inconvenience them. 
I went to Wegmann's this weekend to try to find something to cook so I could eat for the weekend. I was i their health food section and was shocked at the lack of non-dairy options. They have a whole aisle dedicated to gluten-free food. And don't get me wrong, I am glad that the gluten-free people have their alternatives but where are our Dairy-free choices. The Shaws back in Clinton sold Dairy Free Mac & cheese and I was really hoping for something like it but alas there was none. And when you are able to find a dairy free alternative it is ridiculously expensive! I'm a poor graduate student, I want to be able to eat and not have an allergic reaction to my food but at the same time I cannot afford a lot of the alternative. $2.19 for Sheep Yogurt and $2.49 for goat yogurt, neither of which I have had a chance to try to see if it would work because it is so damn expensive. And Dairy free and Lactose Free are not the same thing! Lactose free means it comes from milk but they've managed to make it easier to digest. Dairy free means it never came from a cow's udder. Being allergic to dairy and being lactose intolerant is not the same thing. I'm not trying to be difficult when I ask if you sell a dairy free product so do not give me a dirty look! For some reason nut allergies get a lot more respect than dairy allergies and I am not sure why.

...end rant...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

People at PTS

I love the people at PTS. It's only summer and most of the students aren't actually on campus yet but I love everyone that I have met! There are so many different personalities here and I've ended up bonding with different people over really different things.

One of my favorite people is Liz. She's from New York but went to college in Massachusetts, so like me she has a love and an appreciation of Boston! She digs on my accent but can also understand what I'm saying. For the times that I get really emotional or have too much to drink and people can't understand me because my accent gets really thick, Liz will serve as my subtitles. She is a hardcore Sox fan and Bruins fan. She also hates full service gas stations, just like me. I have also bonded over food allergies; she's allergic to Peanuts and I'm allergic to dairy. Her allergy will kill her, mine makes me wish I were dead. We also both have overwhelming fears of both inconveniencing people and of confrontation. While talking at the Tap Room last night we also figured out that we both have issues using public bathrooms. The things you learn!

There's so many other great people here like

  • Andy- The hipster from West Chester who constantly hates on Boston
  • Will- The outdoors man who makes bird noises without realizing it
  • Alison- The girl that will single-handed reform the food industry and make us all Kosher
  • Ridgley- The charming southern gal who swears like a trucker when in parking garages. 
  • Peter- The 17 year old theology prodigy who is still in high school but taking summer Greek while working on college admissions essay. Affectionately called Doogie Bonhoeffer. 
  • Vincent- The Catholic entertainment lawyer from New York City
  • Stan- The former orthopedic about a pay cut!
  • Mike- Such an interesting guy, I don't know what to say about him, he is just great even if he won't admit that there is a ghost living next door to him. 
  • Amy- my lovely next door neighbor who constantly fears she wakes me up and speaks approximately 12 languages (slight exaggeration). 
That's just a small sampling of people here. Everyone is so great and I've been engaged in and observing the most interesting conversations. I cannot wait to see what the next three years brings. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


I am at a new point in my life. I've just moved to a new state and started at a new school. I've just started seminary and that's kind of a big deal. Since I am starting a new phase of my life and putting really big changes into my life, I decided to add some more. I've decided that I need to set some goals in my life and try to keep them.

There are the obvious goals that I am setting for myself: remember to do my homework, study every day, pass my classes.

And then there are my other goals like lose weight. In order to meet this goal, I am setting an attainable goal of going to the gym 3 times a week. I need to find a way to motivate myself to get dressed and walk down the street. Also with that, is to eat healthier. No more snacking...well, limit snacking etc,.

Some of the other goals I'm setting have dates I want to achieve them by while others are vague. Some of the other goals I'm setting are: write a book, take a road trip with no predetermined destination, get married, save money, take more pictures, learn to drive a stick-shift, learn to snowboard, visit the Holy Land, get season tickets to the Bruins, see a Red Sox/Yankees game, do more things that I enjoy (baking, wedding cakes, kayaking).

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Poem

Day by day and meal after meal
I’m really not liking the way I feel
I need to concentrate on my summer Greek
But every day I feel so week

Weak, getting sick daily, don’t want to get out of bed
So, I decided it’s off to the doctor I head
Poking and prodding and then blood work
You have really bad veins so this will hurt

The phone rings and it’s the lab tech
You need to come back, there’s more to check
We go over the results and I start to get scared
“Thyroid and white blood cell count is off”, she declared

So more blood work and an ultrasound for good measure
Just tell me what to do so I can get better
Anemia and vitamin D deficient, okay that I can handle
No answers from the white Blood count hits me like an anvil

My hair is starting to fall out
I need answers beyond any doubt
My biggest fear is that it’s cancer
So would you please just give me a damn answer

I take a quiz but think of what else is going on
I think of my health instead of the gospel according to John
I hope the doctor will call me soon
Because my imagination is starting to balloon. 

The Face of God in Philly

Sunday evening three of my new seminary friends drove into Philly to attend service at Broad Street Ministries. I have been wanting to check out Broad Street Ministries for a very long time and when we learned that a classmate, Andy Greenhow, would be preaching, it was clear that we would be attending. I am so glad I went.
Broad Street Ministry is located on South Broad Street in Philly. It is a community that emphasizes hospitable outreach, passionate civic involvement, courageous discipleship, and creative expression. If you are anywhere near Philly, I would suggest dropping by some Sunday evening. When you walk up to the building it looks like a giant traditional church, but I'm not sure that there is anything traditional about Broad Street and that is why I liked it. 

During the service I was looking around and realized that those gathered there truly were the body of Christ. There were young people and old people. Students, professionals, and those without a job. There were people from Philly, people from other states, and people from other countries. There were black, white, asian, hispanic. There was the uneducated and the well educated. Those who are illiterate and those who have published books. There were those who came dressed up for church and those who wore what they had. There was what I feel to be every variety of person. I think I like how the BSM website puts it best, "BSM also welcomes into its body not just those who are on the margins of faith but those who are on the margins of society. The member of prestigious private clubs worships alongside the homeless person. The gay and lesbian activist passes the peace with the Pentecostal lay preacher. The possessor of a PhD. In theology prays alongside the summa cum laude graduate of the School of Hard Knocks. " All of these people, from so many different walks of life joined together with the purpose of worshiping God and sharing a meal. 

I was afraid to attend BSM. Not because I was afraid that I wouldn't like it. Not that I was afraid that I would be uncomfortable. I was afraid to attend because I was afraid I would like that, and that is exactly what happened. That is the type of worship I have been looking for. It's real. It's nitty gritty. It's not about keeping with tradition and doing things in a particular way. It is about ministering to the people and being ministered to. It's about seeing the face of God in those gathered. It isn't about inviting God into the space because God is already there and waiting for you. I felt more in touch with God and with myself, felt more convicted and felt more dedicated to Christ than I have in quite some time than I did in that short service Sunday night.