News for February 2008

on music on travel on bread on blitzen

we now take a break from nate’s riveting scholastic history to bring you an update on his equally riveting life.  EQuaLIty now!

i’m typing at my favorite internet cafe, the public library.  i like it because in the background i can hear a woman explaining to the librarian at the info desk that the Library is a sacred place and asking her if she’s familiar with the minnesota guitar society.  

i also like it cause everything is free.  even the coffee!

not really.   there is no coffee.

but the books are free for a limited time only.

enough! youd think being around all these books i’d be encouraged to use bester grammer – but not so – i rebel!

music- two great developments 1) i’m almost done with a children’s cd.  i started it around christmas cause i was a little frustrated with other recording efforts and thought it would be a nice pallet cleanser.  and it has, and it’s turning out pretty swell.  and the kids are going to love it, right kids?

2) longtime musical collaborator micah taylor and i are going in on some studio space together.  = complete unadulterated loud or quiet recording at any time of the day!  unheard of!  it doesn’t even matter if someone flushes the toilet!  (right now my studioito is beneath the bathroom so more than once a near perfect take has been altered by the sound of a ‘waterfall’ in the background.  i’m excited at the recording possibilities this has to offer.

on travel – this weekend – me and the fam go to fargo rock city!  houges gone wild!

on bread – made killer baguettes today – best (only) baguettes i’ve ever made but honestly they turned all wonderful and crusty and chewy.  so good that i’m not even annoyed that i totally shattered a pyrex casserole dish in our oven when trying to create massive amounts of steam at 500 degrees. 

on blitzen – only one more month till the kind of weather when you put on the ramones and drink pepsi and eat snickers.  bop!

Posted: February 27th, 2008
Categories: music, travel
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first things first

First grade’s a little fuzzy. We had moved back to Riverside, CA and I attended Immanuel Lutheran School €“ the school connected to our church. My only memory may be this. There was a boy named James in my class who’s birthday was on October 31st. I spent many of the weeks leading up to Halloween trying to convince him that he and the devil shared the same birthday. If this had happened in 5th grade it obviously would’ve been with malicious intent. But in first grade I was coming from a place of innocent and profound spiritual concern* – all I was trying to do was to warn him. Of what? No idea. Even if the devil and James did have the same birthday so what? My mom and Vanna White share the same birthday (coincidentally it’s today, Feb 18th) and they’re happily autonomous. And anyways, if Halloween was the Devil’s birthday wouldn’t we call it Devilmas? Or V-mas for short? I obviously didn’t understand the erroneous implications then, and I sure as hell don’t have any clue now. I take that back, hell may be more sure of this than I am.

Either way it played out like this: I freaked James out. I felt bad, and was still concerned that with he and the Dark Lord sharing the same birthday he was probably at risk of eternal damnation so I stopped focusing on his birthday and put my efforts toward saving his obviously lost soul.

Luckily my dad was on the evangelism committee at church and happened to have a lot of tracts lying around the house including the ever popular, €œFour Spiritual Laws.€ I don’t remember what the laws were, but I’m guessing they were along the lines of 1) you’re screwed 2) Jesus loves you 3) you can be sure of this and bask in the promise of eternal life 4) say the Jesus prayer and we’ll seal the deal.

So I grabbed one of the tracts out of his desk drawer and took it to school. I gave it to James. He looked confused. He took it home. My dad got a call from James’ dad that night. I was informed that no, Halloween is not the devil’s birthday, and that I should hold off on the four spiritual laws until after I had mastered the Kennedy questions.

So do tell, if you died tonight where would you go?

Ya’ sure about that?

Call me if you want to pray about it.


*This may be a bit of a flaw in Jesus’ notion that we should be such as children. Sometimes children are such as dumb. A strong argument for W’s brand of Christianity. And yes camp counselors, go ahead and comment on the important difference between childlike and childish faith, I’m dying to read more on this fascinating topic.

Posted: February 18th, 2008
Categories: edumacation
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kinder gartener

Kindergarten was interesting. At least what I remember of it. We were living outside of Dallas TX at the time. My folks were learning all about linguistics I was learning how to ride a bike. I’m sure my brother was also learning something life changing at the time but it’s harder enough to remember the details of my life, so Ben if you read this could you comment on how formative that year was for you?

It was my first year in school and coincidentally the first time I ever went to see a school psychologist. It later became the second time as well.

I’m not sure why my caring and wonderful Texan of a teacher sent me off to see the school psychologist but I’m sure she did it with all care and compassion that the state that brought us the letter W could muster.

On my first visit I was asked to draw a picture. As I recall I was given a blank piece of paper and some crayons and a little end table to work at. I drew a picture and then we talked about stuff. I’m guessing it was related to how I behaved in class, but maybe he wanted to know more about Noah’s Ark, cause that’s what I colored. And I’m pretty sure that since it was a public school I wasn’t directed towards a picture with biblical theme. Although, have I mentioned this was Texas? So there it was a big rainbow and a boat. I’m guessing our little chat ended with me being sent back to class, but it could’ve ended with him saying the Jesus prayer, I really can’t remember. The best part about fuzzy memories is making up the details.

Later that year I remember having trouble getting off the bus because my shoe laces were tied together in a huge knot. I had also experienced trouble getting on the bus. And to the bus for that matter. In fact everything after circle time was a bit tedious and clumsy. Apparently my teacher was teaching me a lesson in natural consequences. Or she was really sick of my shenanigans. Either way I made it home and I think my Mom ended up getting out a pair of scissors. I think she also checked out a few parenting books. Classics like Dobson’s Dare to Discipline. Can you blame her?

I’m guessing it was around this same time that I got to make my second trip to the psych ward. This time I was given clay. (My mom confirms these two little trips €“ often in public €“ but I’m starting to wonder if I just wandered out of class and into the second grade room during their art time) Anyhow, I was given clay and told to make something. It was modeling clay, not play-do. The kind that’s kind of waxy and hard to work with at first but by the time you work out what you want to make it’s too pliable and is stuck under all of your fingernails and leaves bit of residue on the table top. I’ve been told I came home crying that day. You would have too if you were trying to make Jesus and his arms wouldn’t stay up.

Praise the Lord I survived to see First Grade.

Posted: February 15th, 2008
Categories: edumacation
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educationing makes you smarter, brighter, bester

Kindergarten – Hastings Public School.  Hastings TX

First Grade, Part of Second Grade – Immanuel Lutheran Riverside CA

Remainder of Second Grade – Home Schooled Gbesse Liberia

Third Grade, 1st Semester – ELWA Monrovia Liberia

Remainder of Third Grade, and all of Fourth Grade – Home Schooled, Medina, Liberia

Fifth Grade, 1st Semester – Immanuel Lutheran, Riverside CA

Remainder of Fifth Grade – Home Schooled, Medina, Liberia

Sixth Grade and Most of Seventh Grade (we all graduated 6 weeks early thanks to Charles Taylor’s attempt at overthrowing the government) – ELWA Monrovia, Liberia

Eighth Grade – St. Johns Lutheran Seward NE

Ninth Grade – Seward Public High, Seward NE

Tenth Grade, 1st Semester – Internation Christian Academy, Bouake, Cote d’Ivoire

Remainder of Tenth Grade all the way through High School Graduation – Lutheran High School South, St. Louis MO

That’s right, 2 1/2 consecutive years at the same school!!!

First attempt at a college degree: 2 years at Concordia College, St. Paul MN

Second attempt: 3 1/2 weeks at Concordia College, St. Paul MN

Third attempt: one semester at Augsburg Weekend College, Minneapolis MN

Fourth attempt: I just started a welding class at St. Paul College.  Other than a ceramics class in my first misguided stab at college, it’s the first time in all my school career that I’ve gone to class because I’ve wanted too, and not out of a sense of obligation.  It only took 30 years.  Not bad.

Posted: February 2nd, 2008
Categories: edumacation
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