Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Happy RamaHannuKwansMas

hee hee hee hee. My friend Jennifer used that phrase the other day and it really (as my mother would say) tickled me. So! Merry Christmas to our friends and family that read our blog! Sorry to have been away for so long (I'm sure you're all broken up about it, seeing as how everyone else is also miserably busy right before Christmas, and judging by the lack of comments to our blog as of late), especially after ending on such a negative note. I'm still wondering if anyone has anything to share on that topic...

I've published the "Reason for the Season" post even though I started it on the 7th of December, the link to the Washington Post article doesn't even work anymore, and I wasn't entirely coherent when I wrote it. Our list of posts is starting to get cluttered with stupid drafts so I figured I'd give that post a go anyway, just to be able to cross one more thing off the list. Sorry if it doesn't make much sense... it's more stream-of-conscienceness than usual... perhaps even "puddle-of-conscienceness," as Kennan likes to say. Feel free to hack it to bits, at least mentally, if not also by commenting . I'll probably agree more with you than I will with me, anyway.

I think I'll take a cue from Gaines and do a quick update now and then expound and expand more later. Things have been good, and I'm glad not only to be home with family, but also glad to not be in the car anymore! The 22 hour trip home to New Mexico is a doozy. And Texas NEVER ENDS. Bleghthh.

We saw Narnia before we left Atlanta and I cried quite heartily. I hurt for Jesus, and was so grateful, in a way that I think I may never have felt before. Allegory is a powerful thing, and even the dank basement of Hollywood cannot dim the power of the gospel that shines through C.S. Lewis' story.

I've also starting working retail. I'm grateful for the money... and I like my coworkers... but boy is the stuff shiny and rather overpriced. There are only so many times that you can gush about a sparkly Christmas tree ornament or a be-jeweled cheese knife before you start to doubt your sanity. There will defintely be more of My Life as a Salesperson later!

Christmas was nice, and the weather here is goofy. I'm not complaining, but there is something rather odd about 70 degree weather on Christmas day. Caroling the night before helped, and it did get chilly Christmas Eve, but by late Christmas morning, the weather had returned to being ridiculously and wonderfully warm. I enjoyed taking the tramway up to Sandia Peak today and hiking in the snow. Wow, was it cold up on the summit! The winds at 10,000 feet will definitely make a body grateful for the warm weather below.

It was also fun to relive memories since that is where the best boyfriend ever became the best fiancee ever, who is now, 5 1/2 years later, the best husband ever (for just over 4 1/2 years now). That story is pretty funny and sweet and is definitely a post all its own!

It's 3:30 am. Good grief! Despite the fact that everyone else was able to crash out as soon as we got home, I couldn't sleep... I'm feeling pretty sleepy now, though. It just hit me. So I think I'll say goodnight and have a very Merry New Year!

Monday, December 26, 2005

The Reason for the Season

That phrase tends to annoy me, because I've heard it tossed about rather flippantly. But it is a sad commentary on our society that a holiday (holy day!) celebrating the birth of my Savior has not only been commercialized (I NEED more things from the store! More candy! More nog! More, more, more MORE!) but also sanitized. Christmas has been hijacked, plain and simple. "Christmas break" has become "Winter break," and for some odd reason, a Christian holiday has been turned into a social event. What would other religions do if we took over their holidays? Could we please no longer have Ramadan? It offends me. And Hannukah? Scratch it. The Satanist down the street might feel marginalized. For that matter, let's turn Halloween into a "Harvest Festival" and leave out any mention of spooky things altogether.

Oh, wait. That IS what we've done. Hm. Christian hypocrisy. I'm sure good at that. So what's the difference? Is the difference in choosing to just do a sanitzed "Harvest" theme personally (not that I do, because I love Halloween and all the silliness that goes with it...) but not limit others who would like to have a ghosty and goblin-y themed celebration? Where do we draw the line? If the Satanists down the street want to have their solstice celebration (everybody watch your cats!), where should we as Christians stand on that? Today at Bible study we discussed Ephesians 4:29: "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen," and Ephesians 5:4: "Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving."

I guess the question is, how do we live in the world, but not of it? How do we take a stand for our beliefs but not offend non-believers due to our pride and separatism? Please note here, that I am NOT advocating watering down the gospel... but rather that if someone is going to be offended, it should be between them and God--due to Jesus' claims, not due to the hypocrisy they see in me. The cross is offensive to those who don't believe, and my task (I feel) is to facilitate a non-believer in their search for God, to be real with them in the midst of their frustration and disgust at something they don't understand. But that's another discussion entirely.

These "sanitizing of Christmas" thoughts come from a Washington Post article that I read today about the President's Christmas--err--HOLIDAY cards. I'm still digesting the ideas presented on the overall topic, but I'll tell you one thing that I do know exactly what I think about: Jerry Falwell's comment. He said (in response to the outcry that Pres. & Mrs. Bush only put a generic holiday greeting, as well as an Old Testament verse from the Psalms, into their cards), "There's a verse from scripture in it. I don't mind that at all, as long as we don't try to pretend we're not a nation under God."

Ooh! It's that kind of comment that gets me all fired up. A nation under God? Please. The United States general population hasn't honored God's place of sovereignty in many years, if ever. Yes, we are indeed all under God's sovereignty, but I don't think that's what he meant. The real danger comes from deluding ourselves into thinking that America is a Christ-centered culture. I disagree. I think that the predominant religion is secular humanism, and the major gods worshiped are money, sex and self. Only when we truly realize what we are up against can we find ways to connect with our dominant culture and love them in a way that honors God.

That being said, I have to go Christmas present shopping! Sheesh.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Don't Read Me if You're Already Having a Bad Day

I'm feeling cynical today. I have all these posts I've started about churches closing on Christmas, postmodernism & Christianity, and the Emerging Church (part II). But somehow existentialism has snuck up on me and my thinking has gotten quite reductionist (how's that for some buzz words?).

What is the point of all this, anyway?!? And by this, I mean all of the brilliant, funny, intriguing, thought-provoking discussions that I am either a part of or hear/read about. I spend a good bit of my time these days engaging in intellectual conversations with friends or in reading the deep thoughts of others in blogland and sharing my own.

And yet.

A few Mondays ago, on one of the bitterly cold nights we had, I saw something that has been haunting my thoughts ever since. Curled up on a MARTA bench next to a shopping cart piled high with junk, was someone whose hat was pulled down so low that I couldn't tell what he or she looked like. And I thought to myself, "That person has no face. To me, it's just one more nameless, faceless, genderless, homeless person. Why, Oh Lord, have you seen fit to put me in this warm car with a family I love, when on the other side of the glass is someone who is cold, hungry and has no face?" It was a cry of anguish for that person but also a cry of frustration and anger at what all-too-often feels like senseless, mindless and arbitrary justice in the world. That person could have been anyone. It was as though, in his or her bundled state, he or she represented every person of every race, gender and religion. It seemed that I was seeing the very absence of grace, of hope, of peace. I felt as though if I were to peel away the layers of dirty cloth, I would see my own face staring back at me.

The next morning, when we drove past again, I saw that nothing had changed. The position of the shopping cart, the person, the hat, everything, was exactly the same. I felt the bile rising in my throat as I realized that person was now quite possibly dead. Again I found myself silently screaming at God: "Why? Why not me?" I felt angry at God for favoring me and not that person. I felt angry at myself for being angry with God and for not doing more with what he has given me. I ached to think how that person wasn't always faceless. I hurt for the person (EMT, police, I don't know exactly who) that would have to come and take the body away. That worker is another nameless, faceless person in my frame of reference, but not to everyone. I wondered if he or she would have the same thoughts of "This could be me," while doing his/her civic duty.

While I sit in a heated, comfortable home typing Very Deep Thoughts, someone down the street is cold and hungry. Someone in the suburbs is dying. Someone across the country is being raped, and someone halfway around the world is watching her child die of starvation. And here I sit.

How does God do it? How does he watch over his children fighting, killing, hating, not believing in him and not go crazy? Obviously, I'm attributing human weakness to an all-powerful being, but still... how did Jesus, who in grace allowed himself to be stuck in a weak human body, walk the earth for 3o or so years and not weep more often? Perhaps he did, and the Bible just doesn't record it. He paid the ultimate price and provided the redemption for all of the sins and resulting hurt of humankind. But although it's true that I'm called to die to myself daily, I don't have the weight of the world resting on my shoulders. I am not responsible for the fate of humanity... and it's a good thing, too, because I'd just screw it all up. But that's another topic for another day.

So where do we draw the line? Some people are called to live with the poor and minister to them, but are all? I'm learning the beauty and value of living as unto the Lord. When I post something , I do it for the glory of God and for the edification/education/entertainment of his saints. Yet this is time I could be volunteering at a homeless shelter. By American standards, we don't live extravagantly, we do have a Compassion and a Dalit student that we support, and we have gone with homeless folks to buy them a meal several times. Yet, we eat a nice variety of food, and I'll be making a cheesecake to take to Bible study on Thursday. Is this not money that could be used for the needy?

How the heck do we honor and enjoy the good gifts that come down from the Father of Lights without becoming greedy and nearsighted? I'm not proposing a rhetorical question, my friends. I am hopeful and prayerful that God will speak through you, for I am at a loss.

Monday, December 12, 2005

My Christmas List

Well, I'm pooped. But driving to Nashville and back in one day was so very worth it to see Andrew Peterson's Christmas show. It was beautiful. Behold the Lamb of God (the TRUE tall tale of the coming of Christ) is without a doubt my favorite album ever. (Maybe one of these days I'll finish the list of my favorite music, etc. that was passed on to me by Gaines...) It will probably remain my favorite album, too, because I only get to listen during Christmas time, so I can't get quite as burned out on it. I hate putting it away in January, but it makes it that much more fun the next November.

It's a darn shame that I managed to spoil the fun on the way home by being an absolute GRUMP (God Bless the people who put up with me and my moods!)... but things are better now that I've had (a little) sleep, my butt is no longer numb from being squooshed in the car, and I've apologized to all concerned.

I've been inspired by Allison to post my Christmas list. I think hers is more practical, though. Oh, well.

All I want for Christmas is:

The ejection of Athens, GA into space

A win at the Emerald Bowl

Your mom

Nice cats that don't attack for no good reason

well-behaved hair

Your mom's face

A million dollars, in a plain briefcase (unmarked, non-sequential, no higher than $50 bills)

sleep!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Going Bowling!

Well, we didn't get the Gator Bowl, but we're playing Utah in the Emerald Bowl, and I'm pretty pleased. There are only 2 other bowl games I wish we could have had a chance at: the national championship BCS game, and...

(From John Dvorak's rather odd little blog , a screamingly funny comment by Mike Cannali)

How about the Microsoft bowl:
1. It will be announced for the fall, but won’t actually occur until spring
2. Periodically all the players will freeze solid on the field and the game restarted from the beginning.
3. No security will be provided; others may give you viruses and/or may spy on you. It costs money to cry for help.
4. Your seat may be taken by someone assuming your identity
5. Ticket prices will be 5 times what they should be
6. You may not move to any other sports event from this one - but you can easily move from any other event to the MS Bowl.
7. You may upgrade, but the seat must be equal or better to the one you had last year. You cannot move to a lesser seat once you have attended any MS bowl.
8. You don’t actually own the ticket, just the right to possess it
9. After 15 minutes, you must verify your presence and identity to continue to attend.
10. Once you learn the rules for one MS Bowl, they will be changed and you must learn new ones all over again.

I'd better publish this post before this creepily smart computer reads what I'm writing, strikes me with lightning and erases everything!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

BAH!

We lost against Georgia. Again. Sigh.

I hate those guys soo muchhh! Arghhah! One Georgia fan yelled, "Furrstt Downnn, Geeeoorrrrjuhh!" after EVERY first down they made. I've never heard that many syllables in those three words before. He annoyed me so much that after one key stop by our defense in the first quarter, I yelled, "FOURRTHH Down, GEOORRGIAAAA!" But I didn't get in a fight with anyone, which is certainly evidence of God growing me! Plus, Kennan told me I wasn't allowed. Shucks.

But I'm actually not too angry, just sad. We played a good game. They only beat us by a touchdown (although to hear their stupid fans after the game, you'd have thought it was fifty touchdowns, not one). We played "toe-to-toe" with them, and Reggie (our QB) made some decent decisions. Of course, there was the interception that pretty much ended the game... but Shockley (their lousy, rotten, good-for-nothing... was that out loud? quarterback) had two interceptions, compared to Reggie only having that one...

Earlier, Kennan & I were talking about being proud of our team and feeling that we fought hard and just lost to a slightly better team. But after looking at the stats, I don't think they really are better, overall. I think it came down to two things: the quarterback battle, and special teams. The stats are interesting: we had 327 offensive yards to their 266. We had 20 first downs to their 13 (take THAT, stupid "First Down" guy!) and our D had three sacks to their one. We had the ball for almost 10 more minutes (34:10 vs. 25:50) than they did. BUT... Shockley is more mature and has a crazy good arm. His two interceptions didn't come at the worst possible time (i.e. with just over a minute left in the 4th quarter when we were poised to score from the Georgia 26 yard-line), and he had no fumbles, where Reggie had 3 fumbles, one for a loss.

And then there's special teams. When I was teaching in DeKalb County, the term "Special Education" was changed to "Exceptional Education" to remove the stigma. Stay with me here, I've got a point. I think that our "special teams" should now be referred to as our "exceptional teams." An average of 5.5 yards per punt return when they had an average of 19.8?!? Are you kidding me? WHAT was poor Pat Clark thinking when he signaled Fair Catch and then tried to run with it? I guess he got excited, and come to think of it, I probably would have too... that is, if I didn't scream like the girl that I am and run away from the ball hurtling toward my head, in the first place. But I digress.

Although Ben Arndt didn't have the STUNNING, DEAD-SEXY 78-yard punt that he had against Miami, he did okay... but what happened to Travis Bell?!? I still maintain that it was aliens. Amusingly enough, their star kicker, Brandon Coutu, missed a 48-yard attempt, and no one was too down on him. Poor Travis missed a 47-yard attempt, and we were all pissed. Why? Because we know he is capable of such things. Good grief... as Charlie Brown would say.

So, another football season is over. How sad. I love college football season. But we do still have our 9th-in-a-row bowl game to play (screw you, NCAA sanctions; and screw you, Rudy, while I'm at it!), so that's fun. And although it's sad that we're all but out of the running for a Gator Bowl bid, we'll probably play a lower second-tier or upper third-tier game and whomp the snot out of some poor WAC (hee hee... it makes me laugh to say that) or Pac-10 team.

I'd have to say that I'm prouder of my team after losing with dignity to Georgia than I was even after we won with a ho-hum against Connecticut. We're 7-4, and that's nothing to sneeze at. We beat Auburn and Miami, and that's incredible. But... I think I'd give up some of the more thrilling wins and take maybe one more dignified loss (if there is such a thing!) all for the sake of consistency. Of course, I say that now, but if we'd played more consistently this season (more often playing the way that we're capable of, rather than cracking up against mediocre teams), beaten NC State like we should have, but lost to Miami and Auburn (and thus ended with a 6-5 record), I'd probably be more pissed right about now. Ah, well. It's the life of a Tech fan, and I know it. I'm a sucker for my team, and that just can't (and shouldn't!) be helped. Now on to basketball season. Go Jackets!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Pouting

Boy, do I pout a lot. I pouted after we lost to Virginia weekend before last... I didn't even post about it, I was so disgruntled. I didn't listen to sports radio or read the sports section for a week. But I am glad to be able to say that I did get over it before we played (and beat!) Miami... I guess I am a faithful fan, after all. Just one who's prone to pouting!

I also pouted after seeing Harry Potter because of the places where the screenplay varied from the books. I don't deal with change well. I still say it wouldn't have killed them to find Fudge a lime green bowler, but I have to admit I was whiny. It was a good movie, and I had fun.

I must also confess to pouting that I didn't get to watch the game, but rather had to listen to it on the radio. Even though I LOVE hearing Wes's commentary on 790 The Zone, I wish I could have seen some of the catches and plays that I keep hearing about. But, it was fun to hang out at home with the in-laws (we don't have ESPN so we had to listen on the radio) and put together a puzzle, play with playdough and listen to the game. Sometimes I can be more guilty than even most men are about putting football over family. Oops.

Speaking of playdough, there's another thing I used to pout over as a kid. My mother never let me mix playdough colors. It was probably wise, since I would have had a big, brown lump pretty quickly. Still, it's nice to be an adult and mix colors. The 4 packs come with the primary colors (plus white) for a reason, folks! My mother-in-law and I both highly enjoyed making green, orange and even brown (I made a little football ornament for the Christmas tree). Apparently she too, was never allowed to mix colors as a kid. I guess there are some things that make adulthood (bills, stress, declining health, etc.) worthwhile.

I think the one thing that happened this weekend that was hard (or didn't go according to my wants/expectations) that I didn't pout over was the viewing and funeral. It was so hard to let go, but God has given me the grace to praise Him for Jesus' triumph over death that we can all have faith in, as opposed to pouting that I have to say goodbye to a man who was like a grandfather to me.

Now I have to go do housework. Laundry, dishes, bathroom (ugh). I guess I can still pout as long as I'm accomplishing something!

Friday, November 18, 2005

The Good Guys Won

Another Saint has gone Home.

I just found out that the man who was like a grandfather (that I never had) to me is gone. Gone after 8 years of fighting against cancer. Gone after many, many years of sharing his faith with so many---because he lived it out. Suddenly, GT getting sanctioned by the NCAA isn't so important anymore. Although, he loved his Tech football. He used to stand up and do announcements at church, and if Tech won the day before, he'd say in a slow drawl, "Well... the good guys won yesterday."

What a great man. There wasn't a doctor who cared for him who didn't receive prayer and love in return from him and his wife. And there wasn't a doctor who could deny the miracle of a "6 months to live" death sentence turned into year after year of vibrant life, all to the glory of God.

Yet he was tired, and in pain. So now the day that he hoped for and that we've dreaded has finally come. I think I'll put on Andy's The Far Country and (continue to) have a good cry while I listen. I'm not sad for him, but rather for us that are left to watch and wait and wonder. I pray for his family, especially for his sweet, sweet wife.

"So when you lay me down to die/ I'll miss my boys, I'll miss my girls/ Lay me down and let me say goodbye to this world/ You can lay me anywhere/ But just remember this/ When you lay me down to die/ You lay me down to live..."
--Andrew Peterson "Lay Me Down" from The Far Country
lyrics posted via the "Fair Use" section of the US Copyright Act...

Kennan said once that this day of grief would still be a showcase of the ultimate victory... a triumph over eternal death because of faith in Jesus. And so it is. He had a wonderful life then, but he is truly living now.

The good guys won, Tommy, and we love you.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Chandra in the Middle

I was watching "Malcolm in the Middle" the other evening... that show is growing on me. I used to not "get it" at all, but now I think I'm starting to appreciate it. Lois still scares/annoys me, though. It's probably a similarity in personalities thing.

This particular episode featured Lois tangling with a cop after she refuses to give him the unspoken police "discount" of 100% off on his snacks at the Lucky Aide. As she leaves the parking lot after her shift, the cop pulls her over and gives her a ticket for reckless driving. Lois decides to fight it all the way, because she knows that she's right. RIGHT, do you hear me?!?

Unfortunately for Lois and her perfect record of being right, Malcolm finds a video that shows that she did cut off another driver and that she is indeed, WRONG. When confronted, she freaks out, and continues to proclaim her innocence. The boys are now completely confused, because after getting over the initial shock of Lois being wrong, they now have to figure out what it means that she still claims to be right, even with irrefutable evidence to the contrary.

Hal chases her down, and after some shouting, she starts to waver. She still says she is RIGHT and that there is something WRONG with the evidence. But Hal convinces her to agree to go to traffic school and accept the possibility that she is, for once, wrong. He pats her on the back as she breaks down, telling her that she is "So amazing... so beautiful... so WRONG!" with a voice full of wonder at this miraculous event.

Lois becomes "broken," as Malcolm puts it, and is easy to get along with, as well as willing to accept the possiblility that it was she who left the milk out or made the mess, etc. It's spooky, but nice to see Lois not screaming for once.

As I was sitting on the couch (and here comes the spiritual significance, so watch out), and watching Lois surrender the need to be always RIGHT and in charge, I felt like God was saying, "Let me hold you while you break down. Let me tell you that I love you and that you are so beautiful and so WRONG. Let me be in charge and you can just rest in my sovereignty and presence."

It was then that I realized how much I hold on to being RIGHT all the time. I fail to allow for mistakes in planning on my part because I don't trust him to be there when everything doesn't go according to plan (and does it ever?). I take the entire burden of whatever I'm trying to work with/on (family, friends, church, work, etc.) and refuse to let go to other people, much less to God! And that's why I, like Lois, am always angry. Despite my best efforts and planning, despite the fact that I am RIGHT about the way things should be, things get messy. I'm frustrated and exhausted from constantly trying to put the universe in order and failing miserably.

The analogy does break down at this point, because it turns out that there's another surveillance camera that shows the incident from another angle. That driver that had to brake to avoid Lois as she pulled onto the road? He was making an illegal U-turn and came to a squealing halt not because she was in his way, but because he was in hers.

It was a funny episode, especially since Lois ends up in jail because of Francis's 16 or so unpaid parking tickets. Their phone conversation is hilarious as always, as are Francis's attempts at making money to pay her back, which land him in a wheelchair and body cast. But underneath the clever humor lurked a truth that I'm not doing well at facing.

Even if there were a tape somewhere that would show how RIGHT I've been in all the grudges I've held, all the minutae that I've so stubbornly clung to, what good would it do me? It wouldn't help my lack of trust in God or change my habits. It would just make me more miserable. Seeing the knowledge of this (or perhaps just wanting to keep intact this precious instance of Lois being WRONG), father and sons stand united to destroy the new evidence and leave Lois blissfully ignorant.

Like I said, the analogy breaks down (they all do, at some point)... but I'm still amused to find God using a sitcom to reach me. I think it may be a sign that I do too much TV watching and not enough Bible reading!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Ranked Again!

After a comfortable win against Wake Forest (this Fox Sports article is a hoot), we're ranked again, even if just barely. This football season has been weird. I keep forgetting that we've only lost 2 games... it seems like our record should be much worse than 6-2; something like 3-5, for example. It certainly felt that way when Virginia Tech creamed us or when we let NC State beat us. The win at Auburn seems like years ago. And now, in the ultimate of ironies, consider these bits of trivia from last week's upsets as we wrap up things in-conference with 2 terrifying road games:
---Nov. 12th at Virginia... Boston College lost to UNC. But UNC lost to us. And, BC put the hurt on Virginia back in week 6. I'll cling to the belief that this is a good sign for our little trek to Charlottesville next week... we beat the team (UNC) that beat the team (BC) that beat Virginia...
---Nov. 19th at Miami... Virginia Tech lost (and how!) to Miami. We lost (and how!) to Virginia Tech. We play Miami in two weeks. It's either going to be really bad, or really good; especially considering that Miami's prize RB, Tyrone Moss (any relation to Randy?), is out for the rest of the season. We still have P.J. Daniels AND Tashard Choice... barring no injuries at Virginia from the previous week.
---Oh, and NC State, who beat us, also beat FSU. However, FSU beat Miami and lost to Virginia... how strange is that? I don't really know what it means for us (probably nothing) or the rest of our season, but it sure is fun to type anything about FSU being beaten/losing. Those guys make my skin crawl. (I can't even enjoy Braves games because I feel like I'm surrounded by stupid FSU fans!)

Man, I love ACC football.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Strut-and-Tie modeling of Deep Beams

Okay, so I won't subject all of you (heck, I don't even know most of you) to the pain inherent in the title of this post, so you can thank me if you ever get to know me. In any case, the more silent member of this little country has decided to post not because he has anything important, brilliant, or witty to say, but rather to momentarily anesthetize himself to the aforementioned pain. Why am I in grad school again?

Today's musings are brought to you by the bastardized phrase "spiritual leader." As previously mentioned (albeit indirectly) by the lady of the land, things have been more than a bit crazy over the last couple of weeks. These happenings have caused me to ask myself for the nth time what it means to be a spiritual leader. My interpretation of scripture passages such as 1 Cor. 11 and Eph. 5 would lead me to believe that as the husband, I have certain responsibilities of headship (particularly spiritual headship) in our family.

Before anyone reading this closes the window and writes me off as some Southern Baptist misogynistic nutjob, please know that I don't think this means that I am any better than my wife, that I have a closer place to God, or that I am right any more often. It just means that for whatever reason, I have this leadership that I don't necessarily want, that I don't feel adequate to, and that I'd really rather run from (those of you who are picky about ending sentences in prepositions can bite me).

Even though I don't understand this concept and don't really relish it, I do want to follow God's will for my life. I believe that since He designed the system, His way is best. This leaves me where I started. . . wondering what it means to be a "Spiritual Leader." I think I will start by praying more for my wife and family. That will be followed by praying for wisdom that the decisions I make in this role would glorify God. I think only clear direction from God will alleviate this feeling of inadequacy because He is the only source of adequacy. Praise be to God.

Happy Reformation Day and a happy All Saints Day since I probably won't write again before then.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

A Postcard from the Edge

An update from Chandra-land...

Things here are pretty good (although a bit shaky). Highlights include our football team FINALLY putting up another W (albeit only against Duke) ; fall weather setting in, making local wildlife much more likely to curl up in laps and purr as a result; as well as our five-star restaurant offering a fantastic bean soup and a creamy pumpkin cheesecake.

The lows, however, have been an extreme blow to the economy (with massive job lay offs), a ridiculous hike in gas prices (a conspiracy with the bean soup chef, maybe?); and the rumored insanity of the royalty.

(It's not easy to be a dictator, thank you very much!)

The Queen's loyal consort also appears to have lost his mind/internet connection.

The much-renowned think tank has also been doing a lot of pondering lately. Where do Chandra-land's national worth, value, esteem & pride come from, anyway? From our natural resources? Our military might? Our stock market? Or do we gain both our assets and our worth from a different source?

Why has God smiled upon this little land, anyway? The customs are often bizarre and sometimes offensive. And that's AFTER we joined the UN. Before then, we were downright savages! Why on earth would God smile on us in our helpless estate and choose to lift us up out of the mire? What could He possibly gain by pledging assistance in excess of tens of billions of dollars to clean up this poor little nation and begin the life-long process of making it a place worthy of Him to live in... and yet moved into right at the moment that He began reconstruction?

Each day is a new celebration of Independence Day in Chandra-land. Independence not from taxation nor from unfair representation, but rather from a cruel dictator named Self, and from the wages of sin. Independence from the overwhelming guilt and frustration of trying to run a government on limited resources and for foolish, personal gain. The insane royal family likes to pop up fairly often, make ridiculous claims to the throne, and then limp off into hiding once the true, perfect Ruler gently but firmly makes himself known. What a great place, not because of anything inherent in the land, but rather because of God's ownership and protection of it!

And now, it's time to fire the press secretary who fancies herself to be quite clever! Or at least, for her to go to bed. Even benevolent dictators need beauty rest, after all!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

The Emerging Church

This is a delicate subject. I have good friends, that I respect highly, who are big fans of the emerging church. So I pray right now that I will be able to continue to show respect to them, while giving my opinion on the matter (and hopefully making some good points along the way!).

Team Redd posted a very interesting article and it got me to thinking. I really agreed with just about everything the author said. To expand on her ideas...

I have to admit that the "emerging church" folks do have a point in that the stereotypical, traditionalist church isn't "relevent" to twenty-somethings. It sure wasn't relevant to me when I was in college. I wanted to be cool, to have fun, and to hell with stuffy traditions. But I think the point that they miss is that what your average Gen-Xer finds "relevant" and what they are actually hungry for are two very different things. They may find things that are trendy, and even trendsetting, to be relevant, but they are dying inside for something else. They want to be cool because they want to be loved. They want to fit in because they are desperate for a support network.

What meant the most to me was that a family of Christians was willing to let potty-mouthed, messed-up me into their home and their lives. Yes, they weren't always very "hip and with it." But I didn't care because both before and after I became a Christian, they loved on me and nurtured me. (And incidentally, let me marry their son a few years later, those suckers! ;) Man I love my in-laws. The way that Jesus lives through them never ceases to amaze me.)

When Paul told us to be "all things to all people," did he mean for us to be fake? Is there a point to being more "openminded" and going through change if the focus is not so much to become more like Jesus but rather for the sake of attracting people to your church?

Let me stop and say that I don't think that all folks who like the ideas and paradigm shift of the emerging church have the sole desire to fill more seats. I do think their hearts are in the right place, and we do need to not get stuck in a 1960's rut. Good for them for being willing to speak up and shake things up. But moving on does not mean dismissing the values and sense of family that have been a part of the church since its inception.

If we are trying to be relevant to a culture that is in search of a mirage, what good are we to offer them that same false hope, just packaged differently?

Friday, October 07, 2005

My Theory

The Georgia Tech football team has been abducted. By aliens.

Scoff if you will, but what else can explain Travis Bell, who kicked 15 field goals in a row last year, missing 5 in a row this season, including tonight's miserable 27- and 24-yard attempts? What other than alien abduction could account for our beloved #21, Calvin Johnson, not making the ridiculous catches that he usually does? (I find it slightly amusing, in the midst of my current pain, that any other wide receiver wouldn't even be expected to make impossible catches, much less be a disappointment to his team when he doesn't...)

I am firmly convinced that little green men have had something to do with this slump we've found ourselves in. Either they kidnapped the team and replaced them with low-grade androids; or they returned them, but only after doing horrible, horrible things to them with sharp, pointy objects.

Either way, our lovely, promising season is now a miserable failure. Sigh. Stupid aliens. Stupid Chuck Amato.

!!!

That's it! Chuck Amato IS an alien! It all makes sense now. Wait. No it doesn't.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

3-and-OH vs. 3-and-OUT

Sigh... just two little letters between a 3 and OH record and going 3 and OUT... again and again and again and losing a by a miserable 51-7 and having 3 wins and 1 loss.

Still, a 3-1 record ain't bad. The loss WAS bad, even if Va. Tech is a top-notch team (which they are), and our ability to lose by that huge of a margin is embarrassing, but... I have hope for tonight. Even if NC State does lead the ACC in passing, 3rd down conversions, kick-off returns, etc...
ACK.

But, for all that, they are still OH and 2 in the ACC. Here's hoping that this time tomorrow, it'll be OH and 3. I strongly suspect the reason that they can't seem to get the job done, although they have outgained their opponents in every game (including a NOT miserable loss to Va. Tech, 20-16, where they had 438 yds. offense to the Hokies' 232 yds.), is because of their nut-case coach. Chuck Amato is such a clown that even the NC State school paper calls him "Chuckles." When asked about their poor record, he said:

"We're not going to flinch. You're not going to see a frown out of me. When adversity strikes, you can do one of two things with your jaws. You can sag them and frown or you can smile and stick your chest out and walk around like you know you're a winner."

What an idiot. I love Paul Hewitt (ah, basketball season) because 1) he WINS GAMES and 2) he's a gentleman who doesn't act like an idiot courtside. But even though he doesn't hop up and down and pout, he also doesn't puff out his chest and grin like a big dummy, for no good reason.

Amato also apparently decided to inspire his players at a recent practice by telling them that their losses were his fault, and then proceding to do several "up-downs" (a weird strengthening exercise that most resembles a dying fish). Are you kidding me? How about instead of making a fool of yourself on the practice field, you get your crap together and coach better? I feel sorry for talented young guys having to try to respect such an impotent little man.

Chan Gailey, if we lose tonight to that jerk, so help me...

That's the nice thing about being not-famous! If we lose, and all my rantings prove to be so much hot air, there's always the DELETE button.

GO JACKETS! I will remain loyal, no matter what our record... but I sure do hope we move up to 4 and 1.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Saying Bye...

My Teacher's Union membership has officially expired. I have now given away a grand total of 11 boxes of teaching materials & supplies. Not to mention the 4 or 5 boxes of JUNK that I threw away. And definitely not to mention the 8 boxes of stuff that I'm keeping. God bless generous friends with large attics.

This morning I took the already loaded up car (you should have seen Kennan & I and 11 boxes all packed into our little Civic) to Bethune Elementary School, and dropped it all off. It was harder than I had expected, and harder than the sorting actually was.

Sorting wasn't easy, though. A LOT of memories. Especially when work has gotten weird lately (don't get me wrong; I love working with college students and sharing my heart with them; it's other things that are starting to wear), it was hard to go through things that reminded me somewhat of the happy times I had teaching. It was also hard to realize yet another way that I'm a statistic: the mortality rate of teachers. No, that's not a typo. It did feel like I was dead or dying most of the time!

But today, going to the school, seeing kids and teachers and secretaries, it was really hard. I do miss it. And I miss weird things. Even beyond the hugs and letters from kids and parents and friendships with my peers, I miss the way the light came through my classroom window (or trailer window) at certain times of the day. I miss the sound of my clock ticking (man, that thing was LOUD!) while the kids did silent, or mostly silent, reading. I miss the smell of the cafeteria (don't ask... because I don't know why; it's not like I ever ate there unless I had the misfortune to forget my lunch that day) and of sweaty kids fresh off the playground and I miss looking down at a perfectly nice white blouse that would be forevermore smudged with grubby little fingerprints. I learned pretty quick to stop wearing white to school.

So, the elementary school teacher chapter of my life is now officially closed, after 3 years teaching in a war zone (South Dekalb County) and a year off, working at the church. I'm a little sad, very introspective, and

RUNNING LATE! Crap! I have to go meet with a student! No time for a potty break! I guess some things never change. It's comforting, though.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Kill Your Television

It's shocking the things I'm willing to watch in the name of a good crime drama. It's bizarre to realize that I'M the statistic (the average person sees x number of murders on television by the time they're 30, etc. etc.). What is it about crime drama that is so addictive? Jerry Bruckheimer owns our souls!!!

I'd like to justify my television habits by saying that it makes me, in my (sort of) white, "middle-class" existence, aware of the horrors of the world. I'd like to claim that it bursts my safe little bubble and makes me see what the world is really like. But I'm afraid it makes me more calloused than if I were to just watch college football and sitcoms. I know what's going on (in a weird, Hollywood-ish way), and I understand that people both do, and go through, horrible things, but in the end... I can change the channel, turn off the TV, or at least turn off my brain and decide that it's all Hollywood, after all, so it doesn't affect me and it's not real.

Have I become so hardened, that dead bodies don't affect me anymore? That I don't see them as human beings, but in a weird, post-modern sort of way, merely as actors liberally hosed down in ketchup? Or has my television become more real to me than reality? Is my television alive? Can I kill it? Murder it? Would Marg Helenberger come striding through my livingroom to sass me in perfect make-up and heels? Would I confess? Would it really lead to a strange plot twist that revealed that I thought my TV was really my great-aunt Marge who I once saw beating kittens, and thus my psychosis would justify my homocidal tendencies?

I'm kidding, people. And I have to go, anyway. Crossing Jordan is coming on next!

Friday, September 23, 2005

Wanting to Sleep this Afternoon!

Man oh man am I pooped after staying up so late last night. But it was cathartic, and for that I'm grateful.

An addendum to last night's (this morning's?!?) post. When I first heard the horrifying stories surrounding Hurricane Katrina, I was shocked and sickened by the way that some people were reacting to the breakdown of society in New Orleans. I was so saddened and then numb as the atrocities stacked up. But then the stories of hope trickled through. As the public became bored with the horror stories, the media was forced to turn to scenes of amazing heroism and comfort, instead.

I felt the same watching a good friend die and watching the worst in people come out as they struggled to deal with the situation. Last night was a low point, when I felt disgusted with everything and everyone. But today I am able to focus instead on the scenes of love and devotion from family and friends toward a wonderful man. I am able to remember what he has meant in all of our lives. It still hurts, and I'm still struggling, but I'm doing better today.

Maybe I just needed a good cry!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Can't Sleep Tonight

I'm mad at God tonight. It is so hard to watch someone you love slowly and painfully dying. It's even harder to watch how it affects those that love that person: how some people weep, and some people shut down, and some people lash out. I'm not sure where I fit in those categories. I guess all of the above, in a way.

God and I have had a talk. I'm so grateful that he can handle my anger, that he's big enough and that his love is perfect enough to deal with my petty feelings. Certainly not that my feelings of grief are petty, but rather that my anger at God is... is... misplaced? unjustified? I can't think of a good word for what I'm trying to say. But the point is that even when I don't love God, he loves me. It sounds trite, but it's about all I've got right now.

I told someone earlier today that I am learning (being taught!) to trust God's character, and thus to love him even when I see things that I don't like. Even when death is rampant, children are starving, entire towns are drowning in the wake of Katrina, and now Rita's, collective wrath... even then my brain clings to the truth that God is good... not merely in charge and indifferent.

That being said, I'm still mad. I'll work through it, by God's grace. This man that has been like a grandfather to me is "not long for this world" and so ready to see his faith made sight. I mourn for those he'll leave behind, not for him. I've heard that anger is just a cover-up for the real emotion. I don't know if that's always true, but what I see behind my anger right now is fear, hurt and confusion. Pretty much the human condition when you think about it.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Tyranny of the Sticky Note

Perhaps you've read the theory about the "Tyranny of the Urgent," the idea that if we can just attend to things early enough (i.e. do homework as soon as it's assigned, instead of at 1 AM the night before), then we won't find ourselves tyrannized by the urgent, constantly trying to catch up.

It's a nice theory. Having seen some of our friends with children, I can say with surety that the mother of a newborn did not write that very nice theory. Babies do not present their parents with syllabi, nor do they adhere to some sort of schedule that allows for pre-emptive strikes against problems.

In fact, I've been told that babies wait until other urgent things are happening (car problems, other family issues, aliens invading from outer space) to have their own little crises. From what I understand, it is not until the cat barfs on the rug that the baby will choose to get into the china cabinet and play, on the same day that your computer dies. (augh, the BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH!!!)

But since we aren't yet parents, I suppose I could employ this idea of life organization more effectively. Our cats do barf on the rug, but only every so often. My problem, though, is not so much that I put things off (okay, so maybe it is, but that's not the point!) as it is my love-hate relationship with sticky notes.

I love sticky (or, as I like to call them, "posty") notes. They come in various colors, some with lines, some without. They even come in different shapes. Some are small and some are large. And they STICK to things! It's beautiful. But there's a dark side to my sticky note affair.

My dayplanner looks like someone from the 3M corporation puked all over it. It's a disasterous (yet colorful) mix of sticky notes, little scraps of paper (that have been stuck to a page by the addition of a sticky note), and business cards.

I have a to-do list, where I very responsibly organize & prioritize my tasks. I try to set goals so that I won't fall behind. Unfortunately, the to-do list also gets drenched in urgent little posty notes. I can't seem to help myself. They're so available, so handy... and so abusive. They're everywhere. I can't get rid of them. And there are few things more aggravating than looking for a scrap of information in the stack of sticky notes (was that phone number written on the orange posty or the blue one?) and discovering that you have EVERY OTHER POSTY NOTE EXCEPT FOR THE ONE YOU NEED. Arrrghhh!

If someone knows of a rehab clinic for office product addicts, let me know.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Nerd-dom

It's official.

I'm a nerd. Not just geeky, or quirky, or a little off (though I may be all that and more), but an official, unequivocal NERD.

It has nothing to do with the fact that I like Star Wars... or that I enjoy Jeopardy. No, the final barrier was crossed yesterday, when I broke my glasses and was forced to wear them with tape around the middle.

ack.

I was trying to wipe off my glasses when SNAP! they broke in half. I stood there stupidly for a few minutes, expecting them to go back together. When they didn't, I stumbled around until I found my contact lenses and my saline solution, which I haven't used in awhile. At lunch, my cookie broke in half. I started detecting a theme, and was a little apprehensive to get into the car...

So Kennan taped my glasses for me to wear at home after I took out my contacts. He used wide masking tape, and a lot of it. He wanted to take a picture. I declined. But the damage is already done. Today, I made several Star Trek references. I read an article about Dragon*Con and was intrigued. I reminisced with friends about the old college days of Pine email accounts. Apparently, my short time of wearing the taped-up glasses imputed nerd powers that I had not before possessed. Next up: buying a pocket protector and suspenders. Why fight it?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

For the Record

I'd just like to state for the record that I have a clever, handsome and literate husband. Despite the "perpetual student" status, he's been quite a good deal. If I were Consumer Reports, I'd make him a CR BEST BUY.

Before the single folks go running for the hills, I'll stop now. Just wanted to let everyone know I've got a keeper!

Preliminary Thoughts on a Possible #17

Yesterday at 12 noon EDT Judge John Roberts began the process that could possibly land him in the position of our nation's 17th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Listening to the openning remarks made something painfully clear to me . . . I hate party politics. The vast majority of what I heard from both sides of the aisle sounded a whole lot like "I'll vote for you if you agree with me." I thought the entire reason a Supreme Court justice had a life-long tenure was so they would not be forced to bend to the political whims of the current time.

In this instance it seems that the left is particularly intent on seeing Judge Roberts opinions on certain matters. I believe this would be reversed if he had been appointed by a Democrat so it's not unique to the party. A great example of this would be Senator Kennedy's change of heart from his former position that a nominee not have to answer the specifics of all questions (in keeping with the legal conduct code) and his current position that Judge Roberts answer how he plans to decide in certain types of cases.

It seems self-evident to me that the role of the Judicial branch of our government should be as impartial as possible. They do not exist to tell us what is right and wrong (that is what laws do). Rather they exist to tell us if someone has broken one of the laws of our country. In the case of the Supreme Court this decision has largely come to be based around defining the constitutionality of various lower courts' rulings. If elected Roberts will be at the helm for this process. Therefore, shouldn't we care more about his view of that body of law? We choose Congressmen and women for their beliefs on issues, but we should choose judges for their beliefs about our framework.

For these reasons, I think Roberts is a good choice. Everything I have seen by or about him shows a deep respect for the law. He believes the Constitution of the United States is still the single document that defines who we are as a country. If that foundation is to change, it must be done through ammending the document in the prescribed way, not by interpreting it so vaguely that it looses any real meaning.

Kennan Weighs In

Hello there to everyone in the wonderful land of Blog. As you may have already guessed by now, I am the patriarch of this little corner of the internet known as The Cranes' Blog as well as being the head chef at the aforementioned "The Cranes" restaurant. Thus far, all I have contributed to this blog is the name, and that only by happenstance as I was not the person who made up the tradition of a wife taking her husband's name. That may change in the future if I receive any flashes of inspiration, but more likely, I will will sit back and enjoy the online witticisms of my beautiful and talented wife.

Just As I Am?

Due to recent struggles, I'm forced to re-evaluate one of the many audacious claims of Christ: that his sacrifice has made me alive even though I was dead in my transgressions... that God has raised me up with Christ and seated me with him in the heavenly realms (Eph. 2:4-6).... that God loves and accepts me right where I am, every second of the day.

What a ridiculous thought! I'm such a mess and drowning in my sin: past, present & future. Forgiven? How could God possibly forgive me?

But then I read that God's grace is sufficient... and I am humbled, weak and grateful. Realizing the ugliness of this lie that I seem to cling to: that Jesus' sacrifice was not enough to cover my sins.

And yet God is merciful. He speaks love and wisdom through my Bible (that dusty little book that I leave on the shelf all too often). And as if that weren't enough (though it is!), he has graced some musicians to paraphrase the message of his love in blinding clarity:

"What's that on the ground?/ It's what's left of my heart/ Somebody named Jesus broke it to pieces/ and planted the shards/ And they're coming up green/ They're coming in bloom... Just as I am and just as I was/ Just as I will be he loves me, he does/ He showed me the day that he shed his own blood/ He loves me..."
---Andrew Peterson "Just As I Am" from Love & Thunder
(lyrics posted via the "Fair Use" section of the US Copyright Act... but Andy's words are indeed copyrighted, protected & inspired. Want to read/hear more? Check out the link that-a-way ---->)

"So let the grace of God/ wash over me all my days/ As long as skin and bone/ hold on to me/ 'Cause Lord I know 'till the day/ you free me from my sin,/ your love will take me in/ Just as I am, not as I should be..."
---Randall Goodgame "John 11" from The Hymnal
(see disclaimer above, and be sure to check out Randall's link above, too... )

Sometimes it seems frustrating, exhausting even, to think that God is so unfathomable. Just when I think I've gotten things figured out, I realize how very confused I am. And yet it's so sweet to know that even though I don't understand God very well at all, still he picks me up, holds me close, and encourages me to call him Abba.... just as I am.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Darren's Picks

Who the heck is Darren?

Exactly.

Kool Korners
(2 K's thank you very much)
A conveinence store looking little place at the corner of State St. & 14th. An authentic, pressed cuban sandwich. Get the classic with extra mojo sauce. Then trot down the street to the church and we'll hang out (since there's no where to eat there except for one picnic bench outside).

Jimmy John's
Across the street from Kool Korners, so I held out for awhile in protest. But it turns out to be not really a competitor, since they have cold, non-pressed sandwiches. It's more of a tribute to our dearly departed Lil' Dino's... sigh.

City Cafe
Corner of 10th & Hemphill. The Greek Combination Platter is marvelous. Neon- edged ceiling fans, sticky naugahide booths and a Million-Dollar Cake (and yeessss, it issss!). What more do you need?

The Noodle
At the corner of 8th & Peachtree, in a little strip with Little Azio and the restaurant formerly known as Celebrity Cafe & Bakery. I forget the new name, but it's dumb. So, The Noodle. Right, right. Got distracted there.
Where was I?
Oh. Ordering the Spicy Thai Basil Noodle Bowl with tofu. Oh man oh man oh man. mmmmmm yummy.

Old Spaghetti Factory
It's a chain, but it's fun, fairly inexpensive and has spumoni ice cream. Avoid the valet parking, if possible (driving experience of any kind appears to be optional for their valets), and ask to sit in the caboose, for grins. On E. Ponce, at the intersection with Penn Ave.

Papi's
Lovely little Cuban joint at the corner of E. Ponce and Myrtle Ave (just down from the OSF). I'm quite fond of the Bisteak sandwich (shaved steak, potatoes, cheese and sauteed onions). The bathroom decor consists of a frightening little collection of voodoo idols, though, which is a bit startling.

Mary Mac's Tea Room
Just across Myrtle from Papi's. Good ol' fashioned southern cookin'... an upscale "meat & three" with sweet tea so syrupy it'll make your mouth pucker. Go on a Saturday or an evening so you can get the little pecan sweet rolls in your bread basket. Oh my, they're good.

Krispy Kreme
Yah-huh it does too count as a meal. And when the hot light is on... oh my. Corner of E. Ponce and Arrr-gone (yar, I'm a pirate) just a few blocks down from Mary Mac's.

Zesto
Further down our tour of E. Ponce, by the (boo, hissss) McDonald's. The food's not bad, but our car often finds its way there for the ice cream. Soooo good. And now, the drive-through is open until 3 am, and they take debit cards. Marvelous!

Eats
You go for the food, not the atmosphere. And yet, there's something about the angsty ambiance that makes the jerk chicken and/or pasta taste that much better. On E. Ponce, just down from Zesto.

The Crane House
This place rocks. It's small, and a bit cat-hairy, but super cheap and so good. An eclectic menu including Thai, Indian, Mexican, American and Chinese. Also an occasional PBJ or PBP (peanut butter & pickles--ewww.). Of course I'm not going to post directions. I'm not stupid... and we don't accept debit cards.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

hi again

So, I'm back. After a long (boorrrring) absence, I have returned to my little electronic soapbox. Nevermind that my soapbox is in a small dark corner of an otherwise empty room.

But if you are reading this, and you aren't me (unlikely), welcome to my corner!

Things are going pretty well in Chandra-land. GT made Auburn cry like the little girls that they are, we finally finished the 6th Harry Potter (and I've mostly recovered from the shock of the ending), and my stint as office manager at our church is OVER!

And the people all rejoiced.

yayyy! whoo-hoo!

Ah, yes... loyal subjects of the little kingdom (queendom?) inside my head... rejoice! For your benevolent ruler reigns supreme!

mwa ha ha haaaaa!

Friday, July 29, 2005

Darn his socks!

Kennan has insisted that we re-read the first 5 Harry Potters before we read number 6... and I'm torn between enjoying re-reading them (realizing that I'll enjoy #6 better after a refresher course), and the agony of wanting to dive in to the newest installment! Mind you, we aren't as dedicated as our friends who pre-ordered, but still...

The coolest thing about re-reading them is catching the subtle ways that Rowling has woven the books all together. For example, Dumbledore's comments at Harry's beside at the end of Year 1 (in "answer" to Harry's question re: why Voldemort wanted to kill him, anyway).

I've attempted a bit of clever allusion to the end of book 2, as well, with my title. Poor Dobby. I wonder if he had a nice wife if he would use merciless logic to force her to re-read the series. And if he did deign to make an appearance on their blog, would he have to shut his ears in the oven door for defending himself? Or, would he remain blissfully ignorant of the contents of said blog, instead? hmmmmm...

Monday, July 25, 2005

Picky, Picky

I've been told I'm picky. I only like Kroger brand dill pickles. I don't let my husband wear tall socks with a pair of shorts. I am also very particular about my name. It gets mispronounced a lot. A LOT.

However, I've mellowed. I've come a long way from the CHapter in my life when my mother, in an attempt to prevent me from throwing a CHildish fit, would introduce me as "CHandra, with a hard 'ch,' like in 'CHeese.'"

Cheese? That's the best CHoice she could find? Not CHocolate or CHerry or CHeerful or even CHUCK? Okay, so Chuck might have been bad, too. But now I will CHeerfully (or at least CHurlishly) answer to several variations on my name. I'll take "Shawndruh," "CH," and the ever popular, "Chawndriquah."

"Chandra," with a short a, like in "apple," is still not an acceptable CHoice, and "Shandra" makes my skin crawl. I only answer to "Cassandra" for one sweet little old lady, and CHances are, you're neither old nor sweet enough to get away with it, CHump.


If you really want me to be CHipper, CHange into your short socks, CHoose some Kroger dill pickles at the store, and pronounce my name "Chawndruh." I guess I should say that instead of being picky, I'm really quite CHoosy!

Is that spelled right? I guess I'll have to CHeck.

chOH well. chSUCh is chLIFE!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The Purpose-Driven Blog?

Interesting discussion at lunch today. We were talking about blogs and their random nature; i.e. most folks' blogs are fairly stream-of-conscienceness (spelling? rats--too lazy to look it up) and don't really have a purpose other than entertainment value. Should they? Why is it that I'm typing this right now although only my husband really knows of this blog's existence? (and another question is: will I ever get the chutzpah to tell anyone else?) Is it just because I like to see my own words in print? Do I really want to share with someone, or just dazzle him/her with my witiness (uh-oh... if THAT's my goal, then...)?

And why is it that I have so many parenthesis? I appear to be an addict.

Would anyone read a book if I titled it: "The Purpose-Driven Blog"? And what would be in it? AND... would I use a pen name or my real name (Esmerelda)?

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Well, Now I've Gone and Done It...

Well, now I've gone and done it. I've created a blog for us. I'm supposed to be doing housework, or support raising, or something.... something.... other than playing on the internet. Oh, evil siren that draws me from my work! I hear the call of blogs and forums and HOMESTAR RUNNER and even the drudgery of a dial-up connection cannot sway me from the rocky shore. SHIPWRECKED! Left broken and desperately entertained to whimper in the harsh sunlight.

Good grief. It's amazing the crap you can come up with when you're procrastinating.

I think I'm going to have to make a firm rule of NO BLOGGING at work! And yet... work has the shining beacon of high-speed internet access...