From Hans’ blog

I love reading other people’s journals. It’s such a great way to see people at their most personal – there are so few people who want to shade their journal to appeal to those who may read. It’s theirs, after all, and who’s to stop them from what they want to say. Anyway, Hans Latta, one of the fellows on this campus that while I may not talk to him every day, would never have any qualms just sitting and talking to whenever, wrote something that was related to the stuff I wrote a couple days ago. Anyway, enjoy.

I just love those times when you encounter quiet beauty.

It happened tonight at Benjamins. We were out in celebration of Brad’s first job, and I had the distinguished title of D.D. (due to the security shift I am working presently). It was such a great night with a great group. But, I must admit, I particularly enjoyed being near this one particular girl.

Attraction is a strange thing. When you have known and been friends with someone for a long time, attraction tends to take very subtle and sometimes strange forms. But in my experience, when you only know a very little about someone, attraction can take only one of two possible forms: either it is an acute, animal attraction that wrenches you towards the person, or it is a lengthy reveling in her total beauty which pleasantly compels you towards her.

I live for the latter kind, for it is both a soothing yet unbinding attraction. There’s a certain unknown mystery surrounding a reserved calmness. And every slight smile, or every half nervous hair adjustment, or every shared glance; all give cause to delicately savor the complete moment. But best of all—and unlike the common, base attractions which tend to fleet as quickly as the girl—encounters with quiet beauty linger like the aftertastes of a soft red wine. They remain with me well afterwards—soothing and comforting like some looping lullaby. I wish—instead of enduring this hellishly long security shift—I could have simply returned to my room and its warm bed and just fallen asleep immediately.

And yet, with the wonderful tranquilizing nature of this evening already beginning to wane, and with the tediousness of my security shift beginning to set, I can still smile and say to myself, “tonight I saw beauty.”

What a wonderful evening.


The ideal woman

Last night on the way back from tutoring in Pittsburgh, the group of us in the van started talking about what our ideal person would be to marry. At the time I had a few things, but I thought it was interesting. So, for all of you who may care, I give you my laundry list of the things I would love to find in the girl who I want to marry.

Looks: Personally, looks are the least important part of the whole thing. Of course I think it’s important to be with a girl you find attractive, but I don’t have this ideal girl that I must have. To me, the girl of my dreams cares enough about how she looks to not care. She’s completely capable of looking fantastic at any time, but doesn’t feel obligated to do so. She’s the grey sweatpants, no makeup type of girl. Over that, she needs to be confident in her looks. That’s the x-factor in the whole thing. I’m not saying she has to act like she’s the hottest thing in the world, but she has to have faith in her looks.

Principled: The girl I want to marry has to stand on her principles. She needs to be someone who knows what she believes in this life and has the ability to live it out. It does not, however, mean that she has to be focused. She may not have any idea what she wants to do with her life, but she knows that she loves this and that, thinks that this is right and this is wrong, and won’t let people sway her easily. This also doesn’t mean she’s elitest. She’s willing to listen and willing to be open minded, but not so much so that her brains fall out and she won’t be centered. That’s probably the biggest quality I need – have integrity and character. Having a relationship with God fits in this area.

Love in the mundane: Basically, I want a girl who can go to the Symphony but also enjoys working in the garden. Someone who’s open to good experiences, good times, and good company regardless of where. Like I’ve said before, I want a girl who finds love in the mundane, because it establishes a much better foundation. When I can kiss her when we’re pulling weeds and know she’s having fun because we’re doing something basic and boring together, that’s when the companionship and love begins and sustains. I feel like if there’s something my parents taught me about marriage, it would be that. They have just as much fun making spaghetti sauce than going out for a night on the town because they’re with each other and that’s what makes it work.

Someone who would like 2-4 kids
Someone who’s good at money
Someone who is organized
Having a dumb sense of humor (they need to be able to laugh at my jokes, and most of the time they’re dumb :P)
Someone who loves and appreciates her parents
Someone who sees romance as a lot more than just roses and chocolates
Somoene who is not content with me or her as they were yesterday, and strive to be better in all ways, and encourages me to grow.
Gentle, but powerful.

A story in Pictures

Hi all. I didn’t really give much of a story because I was half asleep all of yesterday. I’d never pulled an allnighter until Groundhog’s Day, and now that I’ve basically done nothing but sleep, here we are.


So we leave here at 12:30. Head to Punxy (which they use up there, and is real effective when you can’t spell it). We arrive at around 2:15. Here we are there:

Me, Adam, Eric, Jeremy

The parking lot was here – Groundhog’s Plaza

Suffice to say these folks are obsessed with this rodent. So we unpack my little grill and start to get it kicking. The follow conversation ensued not less that 30 seconds after we arrive:

“hey, are you some sort of nerd or something?” The voice was behind me.
“No, sir.”
“What are you, some sort of jerk?”
“No, sir. Not at all”
“What are you cooking there? What are you, some sort of jerk?”
“I’m cooking brats, sir.”
“Where are you from – Michigan?”
“No, sir. I’m from Pennsylvania (as a sidenote, I wasn’t about to say Ohio… they hate us enough over here as it is)”

He then offered to help me light my grill with a “super lighter”, but he couldn’t find it.

Anyway, as if that weren’t enough, there was another drunken conversation that I take from Eric’s journal:

“…One tall man was holding a Miller Lite in each hand and talking jibberish. He was complaining because Anderson would not let this man’s girlfriend squat and pee on the side of the van. Apparently the lines were too long in County Market (not true). This man kept calling Jeremy “long-hair”. Needless to say, this guy was wasted…”

We also indulged ourselves in souviniers:

Then began the mile and and a half trek up to Gobbler’s Knob. In the cold. Up a steep hill. In single digit temperatures. On a hilly field. Then we got there… here’s the scene:

For the next 3 hours we listened to drunk karaoke (if there were such think as second-hand drinking, I would have alcohol poisoning), had an MC that really had no clue what he was doing, and viewed the people. I got a picture with these fine ladies – the spring and winter faries.

Then at 6:30 we had fireworks which were awesome. The sky was beginning to lighten up as well, so that made it that much more exciting. Then at 7:31, the man who were were looking for, SEER OF SEERS, PROGNOSTICATOR OF PROGNOSTICATORS, ALL WHO WERE DISCIPLES… PHIL CAME OUT!!!!

He predicted 6 more weeks of winter as he saw his shadow, but I saw no stinkin’ shadow. I didn’t even see my own shadow.

Then we left and ate a little at Eat’n’Park in Clarion. It was good food, and woke me up.

Moral of the story? Everyone should go – it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. Which a good thing that it is – more than that and I dare say I’d get myself committed.