Thursday, November 30, 2017

Things I Learned This Month | November 2017

You guys. 

Advent starts tomorrow. 

I am so excited. I have been restraining myself from peeking at the pictures on my Advent Calendar and starting The Greatest Gift for a week. (I exercise no such restraint when it comes to Christmas music - I've been listening to that for a solid month.) I love Advent so much - the anticipation of Christmas Day is such a good reminder that we are waiting for Jesus to come again.

But I get ahead of myself. Advent starts tomorrow, but today it's still November. Which means it's time for me to follow Emily Freeman's lead and share a handful of things I learned this month. 

1. The thought process behind The Lumineers' song "Ophelia" is fascinating. 

I've always been curious about what the lyrics to that song mean, so I was intrigued to listen to Song Exploder's episode about it. I particularly enjoyed hearing the songwriters talk about why it had to be "Ophelia"   instead of something else. (It's probably not the reason you think it is.)

2. Real Chinese food is spicy (!). 

My roommate is Chinese, and I've picked up some interesting facts on China from her. I was totally surprised to learn that food in China is very spicy - that's totally not my concept of Chinese food based on Chinese takeout. Bonus fact: in northern China people eat noodles, and in southern China rice is the staple. 

3. On the topic of food: tossing a generous tablespoon of freshly minced ginger into your generic pumpkin pie batter (filling? whatever...) takes the classic dessert to a sassy new level of deliciousness. 

4. The 75th anniversary of Casablanca was November 26th. 

Since finding that out last week, rewatching that classic has been high on my to-do list. My dad sent me this fascinating article unpacking why Casablanca is such a spectacular film. “The film needs Rick to stick his neck out and commit to the Allied cause at the same time it needs to respect the sanctity of the bonds of matrimony. […] One reason Casablanca endures in the popular movie memory is the aberrational decisiveness of its climax, which tackled and resolved the question of dual loyalties head on.”

5. Czeslaw Milosz is one of my new favorite poets. 

I'm slowly working my way through his collected works and I'm captivated. Excerpts from his poems will probably show up in the poetry corner of the blog at some point, but until then I will leave you with this line from his poem "The Song":

Children throw balls, they dance on the meadow by threesomes,
Women wash linen at streamside and fish for the moon.

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