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!