Life in Atlanta

Whenever I travel or go home, I am invariably asked how I like Atlanta.  Every time, I respond with variations on vagary, generally offering the impression that I do not love the city, but I do like my life here.  I do so because it is difficult for me to communicate through small talk all of the wonderful and awful things that have happened to me here, and to wrap them up into a judgement on the city itself.

The truth is that I love the life I have built for myself in Atlanta.  Since my first visit here, my schedule every week revolves around the fixed point of Thursday night Bible study.  My best friend’s brother and his wife host at their home, where between eight and twenty people gather for dinner, community, and a well-researched analysis of one chapter from whichever book of the Bible we are studying at the time.  Afterward, we play games or Smash Bros., or just enjoy good conversation, often over a beer.  I arrive early every week to help get the house ready, and that is usually where I write these posts.

When I moved here, I had a job lined up as a barista.  I was at that job for about nine months, but I left in January of last year.  Since then, I have worked every Friday cleaning my friends’ house, sold salsas and tamales at a farmers’ market in the summer, folded laundry for a family in the suburbs, and taken on freelance work for my dad.  In my off times from those jobs, I workout, look for other jobs, and generally reevaluate my life.  I also travel a bit, and I have had the privilege to host my friends and family in Atlanta.

Most importantly, I have nurtured a community of friends here.  I hang out with various parts of that friend group weekly, and we usually keep one of the many Atlanta goings-on on our horizon.  So far my favorite is Matilda’s, an art gallery and outdoor concert venue that hosts local artists.  We took several bottles of wine, fancy snacks, and a few friends to see Blair Crimmins and the Hookers there, and thus found the formula for an excellent evening.

There were so many times in the past year that I felt tempted to see my move to Atlanta as a mistake.  I felt that the city was rejecting me like a transplanted organ.  I know now–I knew then–that that perspective was wrong.  It takes time to settle in a new place, to build a new community.  Moreover, it takes faith that the seeds you plant are worth cultivating.  Right now, I am experiencing the joy of seeing those seeds yield true fruit.  But there were times, along the way, when I thought my plants would not flower, and there were plenty of seeds that never sprouted.  I stayed because I believed that God had brought me here for a purpose.

I have a wonderful life in Atlanta.  It still has its difficulties and complications, but it is, overall, fruitful.  I know that such a life could be cultivated anywhere.  But I am glad it is here.

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Pop Culture Christmas List

Like many of the shows I watch, I took a ridiculously long hiatus for Thanksgiving, and I will take another for Christmas.  But, before I go, I wanted to share my Christmas wish list for pop culture.


TV:

I wish that Hannibal will continue.  Somehow.  Even if it is only in my dreams.  Yes, I would be entirely comfortable dreaming a new episode every night for several seasons.  Do you hear that, Santa?  Do you hear me, God?  I am dead freaking serious.hannibal

I wish that there will be a Community movie.  #andamoviecommunity

I wish that Mozart in the Jungle will have an amazing sophomore season.  You can do it!mozart in the jungle

I wish that the last three seasons of The Vampire Diaries will turn out to be a collective nightmare had by all of the Stelena fans.tvd

I wish that Jamie and Claire will have sex again, and that it will not be as awful as every moment of the season finale.outlander

I wish that Daryl will have more screen time in the second half of The Walking Dead.  And that Carol will be redeemed.  I worked out an amazing death for her character.  I hope it comes true.twd

I wish that Sneaky Pete will catch on.  That pilot was aces.  (Apologies to Giovanni Ribisi for the gif.  It really was the best option.)sneaky pete


Movies:

I wish that The Force Awakens will reignite my Star Wars fever well into 2016.  I want to have rewatched the whole saga several times by June.force awakens

I wish that Leo will be the rock upon which the credibility of the Academy Awards will be shipwrecked.leo

I wish that Tom Hardy and Carey Mulligan will make a movie together.  Please.

I wish that Lindsey Morgan will star in the forthcoming adaptation of Wool.  Her spark and determination on The 100 have already made her my Juliette.

raven


Streaming:

I wish that all cords will be cut and that the streaming services will be more comprehensive.  I need the entire Star Wars saga, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Great Gatsby, all of the major Hitchcock films, Miller’s CrossingThe New WorldAn Education, and The Devil’s Backbone to be available.  Most of all, I need network television to get better or go away.

I wish that Netflix and Hulu will add forward buttons and IMDb integration.  Amazon Prime is winning.


And thank you to everyone in the industry whose hard work has brought television into a shining new era.  Thank you, too, to the people who are still making great movies.

short term 12

Short Term 12.  Watch on Netflix.

And, as ever, I wish that Jack Dawson would go around the other side and get on that door.  I am sure he will still die before fifty, but his cause of death will be something other than stupidity.titanic

Have a Merry Christmas everybody!  And watch any of these shows (or movies).  😉