7 Quick Takes: Wine Roulette, Concerts, and Flowers in Winter

Linking up with Kelly.


Our Gaudete Sunday party went well! I don’t have any pictures, but our apartment was saturated in pink and purple for the event (or rose and violet, rather).

The best part of the night was probably at the end, when we brought out a few bottles of wine that Liz’s grandparents had given her. They were about fifty years old and had been kept in their basement for decades, so odds were slim that they were still any good. A few daring souls wanted to taste them to find out…which turned into a game of wine roulette to find out which bottles were okay and which were rotten. [Spoiler alert: They were all rotten.] We were playing cards at the time, and we said that the first person to lose had to drink a swig of the rancid wine. They were all terrible, but each was terrible in a different way. One smelled sweet but tasted like vinegar; another smelled so awful that people backed away from the open bottle in disgust.

We exhausted our supply of old/ruined wine by the end of the night. But at our office holiday party this week, I won a case of wine; then I went to trivia and our team won $60 in bar gift certificates. This week has been quite productive in terms of obtaining free alcohol! ;) Although after playing wine roulette, it somehow seems less exciting to open a bottle and know that it’s not going to be poisonous.


In case anyone is looking to donate to a worthy cause this holiday season, I know of two funds that could really use support:

Several of my friends in the Frassati Fellowship went on a mission trip in August to Laderas, Peru, and they made connections with many people there who are living in extreme poverty. They have assessed the needs of the people there, and now they are raising money to meet them. This website details where funding is needed—for instance, there is a woman with three children, one of whom is deaf and another of whom has epilepsy and autism, and she can’t afford the $50 per month that would pay for their medications. Anything you can give will help, even if it’s small!

Secondly, two friends of mine, Monica and Nathan, recently adopted a baby boy. They had been raising funds to pay for their adoption, and they were placed with their son before the fundraising had been completed. They are still working to raise money to pay for all the expenses involved, and they can really use support, as their bank accounts were drained to pay for the adoption! They are great people and will be wonderful parents—click here to see their story, and click here to visit their fundraising page.


I saw Ingrid Michaelson in concert last week, and I’ve been listening to Soldier ever since. She is incredibly talented—it was worth seeing her live! Her voice is so distinctive and sounds even lovelier in person.

I also got to see Audrey Assad and Matt Maher singing at St. Patrick’s Cathedral last week! When I walked in, Audrey was singing I Shall Not Want, which is possibly my favorite song ever ever, so I was glad I walked in just in time to hear it!

Also, the Christmas carol that is currently stuck in my head (after caroling outside last night with the Sisters of Life—delicious hot chocolate included): Lo! How a Rose E’er Blooming. Lovely.


The apartment directly above mine is currently being renovated, and the office directly below mine is also being renovated. Which means there are noises from construction in every aspect of my life right now. When I wake up in the morning, I hear debris falling in between my walls; when I arrive at work, I hear hammering downstairs and jackhammers outside. It’s just the greatest.


My plan for Advent is going pretty well. Of course I don’t stick to it 100 percent of the time—there were times during the first week when I had to make plans and organize instead of focusing on prayer, and there were times during the second week when I did fun things with friends instead of making preparations, and there are times this week when I need to do errands instead of just soaking in the moment. But overall, my focus for each week has worked—prayer first, preparations second, and then just being present for the season. This week I’ve gotten the chance to go to a Christmas concert and go caroling, as well as host our Gaudete Sunday party, so it’s been really nice to enjoy all these things while knowing that most (not all, but most) of my preparations for Christmas—both spiritually and practically—are covered.


The weather has been bizarrely warm. It reminds me of December in California (where the sound of the ice cream truck competes with the sound of Christmas carols)—it doesn’t feel right for December in New York, although I’m a little bit glad that it’s not freezing cold. On Sunday, I took this photo in my neighborhood:

This photo was taken on Gaudete Sunday. Color of flowers: liturgically appropriate. The fact that there are flowers at all: not seasonally appropriate.

If the trees flower in December, will they still flower again in April? I hope so…


The best Starbucks cup I’ve ever gotten:


I’m always amused by the many creative spellings of my name that I get at Starbucks, but this? I laughed so hard.

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