Wednesday, December 13, 2006
3---number of turkeys that we cooked Thanksgiving week
2---number of days after Thanksgiving that I moaned & groaned about eating too much
6---number of years that we have lost to Georgia IN A ROW
4---number of times the football team has broken my heart this season (hey, it's an improvement!)
1,367---number of times I screamed at the TV during the U(sic)GA game and the ACC championship
29, 9 & 2---number, in order, of attempts, completions and interceptions that Reggie had against Wake Forest
0---number of touchdowns by either team in the championship game (WTP... what the poo?!?)
182---number, in dog years, that Kennan has been on the planet
10---number of human years that I've gotten to celebrate Kennan's birthday with him :)
2---number of years that I have gotten to go to the Andrew Peterson Behold the Lamb show at the Ryman
6---number of people that we fit into 5 spaces so that we could all sit together at the show
482---number of chills that went up my spine because of the haunting beauty of the show
17---number of times I was spooked out by the similiarities between our friends Robert & Charissa and Team Redd
80---number of people stuffed into a townhouse for the church Christmas party
2---number of times that our associate pastor stole from us during the white elephant exchange
19---number of times I had to escape from the crowd into the "introverts' room" in the office
344---number of quilt squares I've cut out in the past 2 weeks
16---number left to go!
8,463---number of craftsy projects that I've started in my life
9---number, in percentage points, that I've finished
19---number of students involved with the grad group at GT (woot!)
17---number of students involved with the grad group at Emory (double woot!)
3---number of months I procrastinated on filling out my Fall Field Report for InterVarsity
12---number of minutes it actually took me to finish the thing
26---number of minutes I've managed to procrastinate on other work by writing this post!
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
A Different Christmas Poem
(the email forward gave credit to Jeff Giles, but snopes says it was actually written by Michael Marks)
The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.
The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know, Then the
sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.
"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night.
It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at 'Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers.
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam',
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile."
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."
"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."
Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."
Did anybody else watch CSI: Miami on Monday night? It had a lot of interesting things to say about recruiting, about civilians, about Iraq, and about family. It just makes me glad to think that our soldiers won't be abandoned and reviled in the way that troops coming home from Vietnam were... even if it's not a matter of right & wrong, but rather what's "hot" and what's not. If Hollywood wants to make supporting the troops fashionable, more power to 'em.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
My general funk is probably not improved by the fact that iTunes has come across Chandra's collection of angsty chick rock. Anyway, I don't know if these musings are worthy of the "Publish Post" button, but I think I'll hit it anyway. Hope I didn't harsh your mellow.
Sunday, November 26, 2006
At least Notre Dame got a well-deserved beat down. And we're still on our way to Jacksonville. To play Wake Forest. Wake Forest?!?
I hope Georgia's star freshman QB implodes the way ours did. So sad.
Such is the life of a Yellow Jacket fan.
Monday, November 20, 2006
I'm willing to say it: this season, Notre Dame has been as inconsistent as we are. Bah. Jerks. KaMichael Hall would eat Brady Quinn for lunch. Ooooooh, the hype around Notre Dame and their BCS #5 ranking makes me unreasonably angry. Moving on.
On Friday, we had the weird but fun experience of North Georgia High School football. We went with our friend Lacey to Blue Ridge to see her hubby Michael filming the game. It was like being home again, except a little more "Deliverance" and a little less "Hee-Haw." It felt weird cheering for the all-white Fannin County Rebels against the predominantly black Manchester (who won, by the way). I found it amusing that Fannin County had nicer uniforms, a nicer band, were bigger, etc. etc. than Manchester, but still weren't that good. Before anyone blasts me for knocking North Georgia, High School football, or the South in general, let me just say that I enjoyed it, I wasn't particularly offended, and it was fun to see folks enjoying themselves and not worrying about traffic, building codes, or pollution. The two things that freaked me out the most were: 1) UGA paraphenalia EVERYWHERE, and 2) how much it felt just like our home stadium back in rural New Mexico. Badly bleached hair, tons of eye makeup... no smell of cows, though. I'll count my blessings. Mooooooo.
Well, in just a little while, football season will be over, and I'll find something else to obsess over. Because I'm not talking football during the off-season. Certainly not discussing Calvin Johnson. Especially not during the NFL Draft.
CALVIN, DON'T LEAVE US!!! auuuuuughhhhhhh
Monday, November 13, 2006
In the fall, I love the
sight of the crowd at Bobby Dodd stadium as the players run onto the field...
smell of nutmeg and eggnog...
sound of AP's "Behold the Lamb" cd...
taste of pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce and stuffing and leftover turkey sandwiches and... and... and...
feel of crunching through piles of leaves on a walk with my best friend...
So what have the Cranes been up to? Our friend Katherine got us amazing seats at the Miami game: 5th row up, right above the players' tunnel. Whoo hoo! She caught #6 Pat Clark's glove (I was so jealous!) after the game. It's a disturbing sign of my personality that I coveted a sweaty glove...
Choir practice has started up and we're having a blast. I had a slight panic attack last night when I thought that the finale for The Amazing Race was the same night as the Christmas Celebration, but it's a week earlier; so everything's okay. Priorities, people!
What I do love about Choir practice is that the emphasis is on speaking (or singing) the gospel, not on having a performance. It helps me not be so prideful about my singing abilities. It's a good reminder that whatever gifts God has given to a person, he does so that he might be glorified.
We helped to host a baby shower for Team Redd & the Frazers... that was a lot of fun! It was no typical shower, mind you! We watched the game (we didn't play very well, but at least we won; and that means we're on our way to Jacksonville for the ACC Championship!), had a finger football tournament, and ate large amounts of meat, in addition to the usual present-opening, cutesy-cake-eating, girly-squealing good time you might expect to see at a baby shower.
And in case you were wondering, there are few things more wrong, yet more entertaining, than putting a crumpled up ball of masking tape on your cat's back, right between the shoulder blades where he can't really reach. I'm such a mean pet parent.
Thursday, November 02, 2006
I have to wonder, though... if he is struggling with this, and if he had or did own up to it, what would be the Evangelical community's response?
It's a tough question. Even tougher is the question of how much has our current religious system in the Western church made it difficult for someone in a high position of authority to resist temptation and have a circle of accountability partners? There seems to be such an emphasis on having your crap all together. No one wants to be led by someone who struggles with these things.
At one of his shows, Matthew Perryman Jones once said that we minister to people out of our brokenness (or something to that effect). Whatever else I may think about the edgy style of Mars Hill Church, I LOVE that Mark Driscoll is so vulnerable with his congregation. Here's my controversial statement of the week:
Churches should be somewhere where someone who is struggling with pornography, homosexuality, transgendered issues, abortion issues, and all those other "shocking" things, can find healing and hope for redemption.
How that is played out varies from church to church and community to community, but if we as a church body are not providing resources for all of us to dig out our sins and junk and hurts, then that's a problem. No one should have to suffer in silence. Ever. Least of all the men and women who have taken on the daunting task of leading Jesus' sheep full-time.
Praise God for his never-failing mercy and grace. May he protect us all from ourselves.
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
college football vs. pro (college, all the way)
Calvinism vs. Armenianism (Happy Reformation Day!)
celebrating Halloween vs. not (pass the candy, please)
church planting model vs. church growth model (megachurches freak me out)
redemption of the entire earth theology vs. redemption of souls theology (for lack of better terminology; and as for my stance on this issue, let's just say that I've been accused of being a "neo-Calvinist," whatever that means)
Georgia Tech vs. U(sic)GA (not even a contest)
cats vs. dogs (actually, we like both... but when you live in 650 sq. ft...)
PCs vs. Macs (I'm quite happy with my Dell, but the pro-Mac commercials do make me laugh)
small house/small commute vs. big house/big commute (see "cats vs. dogs")
Daylight Saving Time vs. Arizona (not sure I really have an opinion on this one... it does bother me that AZ also doesn't celebrate MLK Day)
bunny ears vs. cable (we watch way too much TV as is!)
Team Trivia vs.... well, okay... versus nothing. I just wanted to mention that we got first place tonight! WHOO HOO!
Palestine vs. Israel (do NOT get me started on this... let's just say I listen to NPR)
Episcopal/Presbyterian church government vs. congregational church government (all in favor of not voting on every little thing, say AYE)
T-Mobile vs. Cingular (Cingular has rollover mins. but you sure do pay for them)
Skittles vs. Starburst (I like that Skittles are both crunchy and chewy)
Theism vs. Secular Humanism (sheesh... whether or not we descended from monkeys, some people sure do still act like apes, and on both sides of the argument)
Greek (fraternities & sororities) vs. non-Greeks (okay, so I'm not Greek and not the greatest fan of the system, but I've had my stereotypes challenged, and that's a good thing)
Yup, it's been an interesting couple of weeks indeed! I love having diverse friends, even when it makes life confusing and/or aggravating. So has anyone else had any good discussions that they'd like to share?
Monday, October 16, 2006
Sadly, we are no longer ranked above them in the Top 25... BECAUSE THEY'RE NO LONGER IN THE TOP 25! Beautiful, just beautiful!
Saturday was a weird day for college football. A lot of upsets, and a lot of near-upsets. Poor Ole Miss. I was really pulling for them against 'Bama. (Sorry, Sam... and what would you have done if BenJarvus Green-Ellis had gotten the best of your beloved Tide?) They were soooo close. College football is weird, because although they lost to Georgia back in Week 5, Ole Miss did beat Vandy (one of their 2 wins, sadly). I've been told that soccer (excuse me, my international friends... football) is even crazier for upsets, but Week 7 definitely gives it a run for its money. I was pulling for Arizona State to get the upset over USC, too... more than anything because it would have wreaked havoc with the BCS (Bowl Championship Suckiness). But that's another discussion for another day!
Saturday was also a lovely chance for Miami to prove their thugishness. Not only did they get into a brawl with little FIU, but one of their alums who was calling the game was happy to see the brawl. Good grief. I talk a lot of smack, especially where Georgia is concerned, but I wouldn't be happy to see a brawl at the Tech-Georgia game. Making fun of slack-jawed yokels is one thing, but taking your helmet off and using it as a weapon is quite another. And while it's true that FIU apparently started the brawl, and that one FIU player was taking swings at players with his crutches, Miami was already beating them on the scoreboard. Did they really have to let it get physical? Well, they're Miami, so... yes, yes they did. It's not like this type of behavior is new for them.
It's a shame that the suspensions are only for one game. It would have been nice to have that going on our side for Homecoming... but at least poor Duke will have a chance this Saturday... tee hee... snrrkkk... hoo hoo... AHEM. Sorry.
The funniest thing to come out of the drama was Coker being asked during a press conference if he has control of the team. He was not amused by the question, but I sure am!
Okay, Clemson, here we come! It might just be the ACC Championship Game preview...
Saturday, October 07, 2006
Now, I will say 2 things about this quiz: 1) it has an agenda, and as such, 2) it is written with quite a bias. The two of us live in 650 square feet and have one car, a Honda Civic. Yet the choices on the question about square footage were: 500 square feet or smaller, 500 to 1000, 1000 to 1500, 1500 to 1900 square feet, 1900 or 2500, or 2500 or larger. Well, dang. I had to check option 2. I want credit for those 350 square feet in the world that we're not taking up! I'm only halfway joking.
I also was disgruntled at the question about flying: how many hours per year? 100, 25, 10 or 3 hours, or never fly. Well, heck. Would 3 hours a week add up to the one or two times (at most) that I fly a year? I refuse to do math if it's not absolutely necessary! I chose "never fly."
Kennan commented on the question about generating waste. The question was "compared to people in your neighborhood, how much waste do you generate?" and the choices were: much less, about the same, or much more. Hey! What happened to slightly less and slightly more? I won't tell you what I had to check.
After taking the quiz, it's a little startling to see that although we are "living small" right now, we're still apparently a fairly large boil on the planet's butt. Here I thought I was not-so-bad, especially compared to others.
But again, where's the credit for other stuff? For having a Compassion child or supporting ecological causes or RECYCLING? I can't believe that wasn't even on there. I guess it was part of the "waste generated" question, but what if you live among either extreme of conservationists? You could either come out looking good, because your neighbors are all dumping toxic sludge into the 'Hooch or looking really bad, just because you don't have pigs in the backyard to eat your scraps. And what about water conservation?!? Arrrrghhh!
I think the real question is, where are a person's priorities? Even if I could juryrig the test to give me a much better score, and even though I try to not let the water run, turn lights off when I leave the room, etc., I'm still pretty preoccupied with my own comfort. The most motivation I have to conserve things is to keep the bills down. (Ooh! That's another one! What about on-line bill pay, which cuts down on paper used and gas used to deliver the mail?) I really don't have the motivation to help take care of the earth. And that, my friends, is a problem.
Because we're supposed to take care of the earth. When God said, "Fill the earth and subdue it," I don't think he was saying to fill it with trash. So the question is, as it is in everything else, am I willing to sacrifice my comfort to do what the Lord asks of me? Am I willing to get off my butt and walk to Tech for Bible study, which requires starting out earlier and possibly arriving a bit sweaty or cold? Am I willing to also time things so that I can take the shuttle to Emory as opposed to driving over there? Am I willing to try to find space in our already tiny kitchen for recycling containers? And am I willing to "live small" forever? I want a house someday. I sometimes wish we had another vehicle. And if we had more money to buy more of the things I would like (which all seem to come double shrink-wrapped in one of those obnoxious hard plastic cases that it takes a machete' wielding ninja to hack through), we'd generate even more waste!
I know people who live in nice, fairly large houses, who have 2 vehicles, etc. etc. who really do care for the earth. They recycle. They carpool. They have at least one Compassion child. They have room to compost in their nice backyard, where they grow veggies. I think one of the things that the mentality behind the quiz doesn't take into account is, if Kennan & I were to move into a hut in poverty-stricken Bolivia and live, as the people there must, on rice & beans, that wouldn't actually help the problem! Not to mention that we'd have to put a higher score on our flight habits.
It's not how much you have, it's what you do with it. Yes, we need to do better. Yes, we can make more sacrificies both for the conservation of the earth and for the care of her people. But for some unknown reason, God has put us here in the land of opportunity to make wise choices. We have the chance to make decent money, which can then be given to various worthy charities. We have the opportunity to affect public policy that affects how many layers of wrapping you can put on a single item (for crying out loud!).
The point is not to live simply, but to live well, and with purpose.
Friday, October 06, 2006
Saturday, September 30, 2006
After we left the retreat, we headed up to Taco Mac to watch the game. No, no, make that THE GAME. We beat no. 10/11 Virginia Tech in Blacksburg (scary scary stadium) 38-27. We in the Crane household are still in a little bit of shock. And we also have very sore throats from screaming, hooting & hollering so much. GOOOOOOO JACKETS! Holy poop. I don't know if I'll be able to sleep for a week! What a sweet, sweet victory for so many reasons!
And then we went to a benefit event for Mamelodi Township, South Africa. For just $10 a head, we got to eat ridiculous amounts of pig, sides & peach cobbler. We got to hear some really awesome Gospel/Blues singers. We got to laugh with friends and also be moved to tears by the pictures & stories of the people, and especially the children, of Mamelodi. Sitting next to my laptop are two beautiful soapstone carvings that we bought from African Leadership Development, a fantastic ministry that works to come "alongside and help fan into flame the gifts already there... [to find] 'African solutions for African problems.' " One carving is a little hippo that makes me smile because Kennan picked out the one that is yawning, and you can see its little teeth. The other is a family (mother, father & child) all holding hands. I rejoice that somewhere in Africa the life of a family will be improved because... I got to enjoy myself with friends. How wonderfully ridiculous is that?
Today we got to be educated, humbled, & uplifted; we got to cheer our team to a crazy victory; we got to celebrate with friends and family for a good cause. Today was indeed a glimpse of heaven! :)
Monday, September 25, 2006
Today I went with some of the ladies from ChristChurch to volunteer at a really cool thrift store. We sorted donations all morning. There were some very interesting items of clothing. My favorite was a black sweatshirt with multi-colored ruffles all over it. It made me want to salsa dance. Either that, or run screaming into the night.
Funny anecdote that I know some of you will especially appreciate... one of the women asked us for advice because she was worried about her daughter, and two of us were closer to college age. I was prepared for failing classes, partying, bad-influence boyfriend...
Instead, the aforementioned daughter drove up to Huntsville last night to see Nickelcreek (sooooo jealous!) and drove back in the same night.
I tried to keep a straight face but ended up laughing. I looked at the other "girl," and we just cracked up. I told the concerned mother that I was no help because we still do things like that (although not often, mind you), and if I had been in Atlanta back in the day, I certainly would have joined in the touring madness with the gang.
The offending party's mom explained that she just worried about her driving so late at night. We agreed that if she were driving by herself, instead of with other people & other cars, it would be a problem, but since she was carpooling/caravanning, it was pretty safe.
I think it's sweet that the mom was concerned. Involved parents rock, even when they may not quite understand. I'll take that over lazy, negligent parents, any day!
And, the news gets even better. According to SI.com:
"Virginia Tech defensive end Chris Ellis and split end Josh Morgan have been suspended for violating team rules and will miss the game Saturday against No. 24 Georgia Tech.
Coach Frank Beamer made the announcement on Monday.
Ellis is one of the No. 11 Hokies (4-0) most disruptive defensive linemen, recording 12 tackles this year, including one sack.
Morgan is Tech's second-leading receiver, with 10 catches for 161 yards and two touchdowns. He blocked two punts, including one for a safety in the Hokies' 29-13 victory over Cincinnati on Saturday."Oh man, oh man, oh man! There's so much to love in that one little article! 2 of their top players have been suspended... we're mentioned as "No. 24 Georgia Tech" (damn skippy!)... they only beat Cincinnati 29-13 instead of shutting them out...
I've never been a fan of winning just because the other team is injured, having an off week, or just plain bad. Everyone would rather win just because your team kicks crazy tail. But, I do think we are a strong little team. We have the (as Kennan puts it) "Human Highlight Reel," Calvin Johnson, our D is awesome, and we have a lot of spirit. A perfect example of how much both Calvin and our defense rock is that Calvin's career-best 165 yards receiving against UVA Thursday night was just one yard shy of Virginia's offensive yardage for the entire game. Hoo hoo!
So I won't complain if a win over VT comes at least partially because they aren't at 100%. A "W" is a "W", folks. Here's hoping we have one more to record after this Saturday. The only thing that could make a win over Virginia Tech at Blacksburg even better is if Lee Corso's car were to catch on fire again. Anybody willing to be my alibi?
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
So much for international relations. Not only have they sent our gangsta mayor to represent us, check out the last "delegate" on the list.
China Trip Attendees:
City of Atlanta
Metro Atlanta Chamber of Chamber
Georgia State Senate
Atlanta City Council
Troutman Sanders, LLP
Georgia Power Company
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
National Association of Chinese Americans
Delta Air Lines
Atlanta Regional Commission
Kennesaw State University
TVS & Associates
Womble Carlyle Sandridge &amp; Rice
Reece & Associates
University of Georgia
Dear Lord. How did they fit all the livestock on the plane? Or did they not allow delegates to bring spouses?
Ouch. Mean, I know. But it's football season, and I'm ready for Thanksgiving weekend. Bring it on, bulldogs! STING 'EM!
For those of you who know what I'm talking about, check out the new site. It's really not half bad. I'm still so grateful that we've moved on, but...
I'm glad for them, and I'm glad that I'm glad! God is good and is in the business of renewing everything. Even bizarre websites and grumpy bloggers.
Thursday, September 14, 2006
National Talk Like a Pirate Day does not fall on a Monday this year. So there will be less (because I know they'll still do it) of calling you a "saucy wench" and "yarrr... bring me a refill" going on this Monday. National TLaP Day isn't until Tuesday.
I guess it could be worse. They would never, ever make a grab at your backside, they're actually pretty respectful, and good about leaving enough money for the tip. Maybe it would be good for all of us to let the pirate inside come out and play more often.
However, Pirate Pick-up Lines do not work, and spending all your time on the English-to-Pirate translator is not the best way to woo us, mateys. Even if we be saucy. Arrr!
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Thursday, September 07, 2006
Being reminded of the time Lee Corso's car was struck by lightning back in the day
Your mom's face
Several memorable scenes from Talledega Nights...
"Dear Baby Jesus..."
"Dad, you made that grace your..."
"Hi. I'm Susan. I painted the car. We had..."
"If you don't chew Big Red, then..."
all of Cal Naughton, Jr.'s deep theological thoughts...
and of course, the Eleanor Roosevelt "quote."
just about anything on Lark News (they're so hilarious, I'll even forgive them for mocking InterVarsity Press), but especially...
the ads for WORSHIPERS GONE WILD (Vol. 2) and the THE (all Christian) PEARL JAM SOUND-ALIKE FESTIVAL ("Just like Eddie... only Vedder")
the poignant commentary on modern evangelical worship trends
and the Best-Selling End Times Books list:
1. Unauthorized Biography of Tim LaHaye, by Kitty Kelley
2. The Act of Marriage: End Times version, by Tim and Beverly LaHaye
3. Cooking with Tim LaHaye
4. Jabez and the End Times, by Bruce Wilkinson and Tim LaHaye
5. My Plans for World Domination, by Tim LaHaye
also, check out this Christianity Today article that describes some of the responses that the Bob the Tomato "We're Bigger than Jesus" story garnered.
Good stuff. Sacrelicious, indeed.
Friday, September 01, 2006
If anyone needs a kidney, I've got a spare one. Kennan couldn't ever use it; he'd need Christy's genetic match, anyway. Will Donate Major Organs for Tickets. Will Sell Grandmother Up the River for Tickets. Will Eat Disgusting Things on National Television for Tickets. There's not much I wouldn't do, short of outright blasphemy & breaking my marital vows. Not too many sacred cows in this house right now. Will Sell Cats for Tickets. Hm. Nevermind that last one. That would be a true Ransom of Red Chief. How about Will Not Bring Cats to Your Home for Tickets?
I get the feeling that tomorrow will be Scary-desperate Saturday, followed by Sad, Sad Sunday. Even if we do win, I'll probably still be moping, maybe all the more because we didn't get to be there for a huge upset.
That should be followed by Moving-on Monday, though... much to the relief of those around me.
Go Jackettttssss... whimper... sigh...
Pitiful, just pitiful.
Thursday, August 31, 2006
Fraternities who take up all the student tickets so that they can dress up, get drunk, turn around not facing the field and talk to their "brothers" the entire game.
Shirley Franklin and her Pothole Posse.
Brady Quinn and his creepy, soccer-mom-on-crack mother.
People who drive 55 mph in the fast lane, then SPEED UP as you're trying to pass their worthless, out-of-state butts.
Overly negative people.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
I was just reading some of Andrew Peterson's earliest posts on his website. Because when you procrastinate by reading deep, meaningful journal entries that talk about God, it's spiritual.
I was intrigued by some posts of his that discuss the problem of poverty and what we as wealthy (if you own a microwave, you're in the top 10% of the world's income earners) Americans can and should do about it. I also appreciated that he shared some of his more selfish thoughts (there's no ice for my coke and every sort of dressing for my salad but Ranch!) and how God got his attention through his self-centeredness. And what I really love is that Andrew does something about it. He doesn't merely think about the plight of starving children the world over, feel bad for 5 minutes, then move on with his day. I was delighted to discover at his annual Christmas show in Nashville that all proceeds went to Compassion International. They took in a lot of money that could have been a house payment, some gifts for the kids, etc., and instead sent the lot of it to truly make a difference in the world. I love that.
So what am I going to do about it? Buy his cd's, attend any and all shows possible, check his website often... oh. Right. What am I going to do about poverty, not what am I going to do about AP being both a fantastic artist and a darn nice person. Heh heh heh. Oops.
I had plans this summer (don't we all) to volunteer at a soup kitchen down the way. Helping out at a soup kitchen has become almost passe, but that doesn't mean they don't need workers still, and it's a good place to start. Here's my deadline: by next Wednesday, I will have contacted the church to find out how to start volunteering there. Hold me to it, faithful readers! All 4 of you.
So here's a little bit of mental potpourri:
The trip went well but I'm glad to be back home... it's amazing what a car can smell like after 3 days of driving... our alarm clock radio woke us up the other morning to the lovely news that our friends in District 4 have finally regained consciousness and voted Cynthia McKinney OUT... I found out that one of my IV coworkers is on the front of Jill Phillips' newest album (3rd from the bottom left, with one arm raised)... Lime & Thai Chile Peanuts from Trader Joe's are tasty, but do not burp up well (ew)... no matter how old you get, you're always their "baby," and as time goes on and sweet little old ladies shrink, they accuse you of growing... I went through some of my old stuff at my parents' house and found my Headstart (Pre-K) diploma and cardboard mortarboard & tassel; I think I'll put that on my resume... the old adage (cliche) "You can't go home again" is shockingly accurate when you go from being Southern Baptist to Presbyterian... Tennessee is lovely country, but ain't nothin' in comparison with fair New Mexico, especially Los Alamos... apparently all good Presbyterians own pipes (Sam, you bad influence, you)... Nashville needs to pick up and move a little closer to Atlanta, so that I can go to things like the no cover charge, multi-Square Peg concerts being held on Tuesday nights... second cousins grow up really fast... it never fails, if you don't pack a book on a trip, you want to read, but if you bring an entire honking box, you find other things to do... no matter what was in the box, cats will brave all manner of odds to sit in the thing... cats, at least our cats, have perfected the art of looking both innocent and insolent at the same time... MySpace is taking over the world and that scares me... dinner tastes better when shared with friends... if anyone actually read all this, not only are you a loyal friend, but you have entirely too much spare time on your hands...
Yesterday was a marvelous day of "lasts": my last day selling shiny things at Pier 1 and Mom's last chemotherapy treatment. Whoo hoo! That's not mental potpourri, folks, that's news.
Sunday, July 30, 2006
In Nowheresville, TN, a political yard sign asking folks to vote for Mr. Suchandsuch for the City Council because he's a "real nice guy." (or some words to that effect)
In Oklahoma City, a billboard for a local farmer's market... with a woman holding two rather large watermelons in front of her person, and a caption that read, "Hey! Nice Melons!"
And of course, our hometown billboard: "Welcome to Portales! A town of 12,000 Friendly People... and 3 or 4 Old Grouches."
It's good to be home.
We've also seen some good bumper stickers. The one that takes the cake:
in large letters: "RUN, HILARY, RUN!"
in small letters: "Democrats, stick on back bumper. Republicans, stick on the front."
Who says politics has to be boring?
Saturday, July 22, 2006
But I've never liked red (To Hell With Georgia!) and never, ever liked pink. I'm a tomboy, and pink is girly. Pink is wimpy. Pink is... my favorite crayon... pink when I turn out the lights... pink is... like red but not quite...
So imagine my surprise tonight to find myself wearing pink, proudly, sitting in a room full of girls and actually enjoying myself.
Tonight two friends had a Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation fundraiser: a "Boob-be-que." It was a hoot! Shish-ka-boobs and pink lemonade and a "bra & panty" cake done up in pink frosting. A very funny way to raise money and awareness for a very heartbreaking subject. I bawled like a baby when we watched a video about the 3-Day Walk. One of the women on the video said she was walking in memory of her mother, and I just lost it. But Mom is doing well, and only has 2 chemo sessions left. Praise God!
After the Boob-be-que, I zoomed across town to a bridal shower. My automatic reflex is to say, "ugh." I don't do well in large groups of women, and if there's a baby or an upcoming wedding, forget it. But I'm getting over that, and tonight was sweet. The guest of honor is fun, quirky, very feminine, but also very down-to-earth. I was reflecting as headed home from all this estrogen madness about how I had fun in spite of myself. At both events, I was surrounded by women that I respect and admire. Women who teach, who are going to graduate school & medical school, who are mothers and wives, who work in engineering, who work at home, who are clever and witty, who are loyal and fun. They all have such unique qualities.
I've learned to wear pink because of my sister-in-law. She has taught me so much about listening to others, about caring for others. Seeing her helps to remind me that being quiet doesn't mean being weak. When I think of pink now, I think fondly of the many wonderful women in my life. I think of our friends that are walking the 3-Day this October. Both nurses, who can tell gory stories with the best of 'em at the dinner table. Both beautiful women who love babies, who love girly movies, who love to sing and dance and live boisterous, joyful lives. I think of my South'n belle friends. Strong, stubborn, loyal creatures who won't quit and love art and music and babies as much as they love college football and camping. Pink makes me think of their heritage and their determination. Steel Magnolias, indeed.
So, I wear pink now. How odd. I feel like I'm finally figuring out how to be the woman God designed me to be, and it's not how I ever thought it would look. Who could ever have imagined me wearing pink or loving football? I love GT football, and one of the people that has taught me the most about being a Tech fan is a woman. I admire her very much because of her passion. She is passionate not only about tomboy-ish things, but also about her children, her husband, her home. She is passionate about Jesus. She is passionate about supporting the fight against breast cancer, having walked the 3-Day a couple of years back. How amazing it has been for me to see her example.
It was so great tonight to see a friend that I haven't seen since the birth of her charming little boy. I looked at the new mother, proud and beautiful... and tired. She's a tiny thing, and yet I'm amazed at her stature. She's teaching college courses and taking care of a new baby. Wow. I also was blessed by seeing some other friends tonight that I haven't seen in quite awhile. Mothers, nurses, engineers, businesswomen. Poets, artists, skilled pianists. Women who like "chick flicks" and women who like action movies. Some quiet, some loud, all characters. What an amazing, diverse, multiracial sisterhood I am a part of! What friends God has gifted me with. I think I understand a little better about the appeal of sororities now.
So, although most of my wardrobe remains blue, yellow, and old gold & white, I'd have to say that in some ways, pink is my favorite color.
Sunday, July 16, 2006
I stayed up until 6 am the other night snacking on a particularly tasty book. I was so tired the next day (or later that day, I guess), that I really paid for it... but I haven't done that in a long time, and I really enjoyed myself. It was a "Bourne Identity" meets "Raiders of the Lost Ark"/"National Treasure"/Illuminati & Knights Templar conspiracies kind of plot--very suspenseful. Which makes reading it in the wee hours, when the house and neighborhood are eerily quiet, really ideal.
I know Team Redd can empathize with me on this! :) We all have our vices, and reading is definitely one of mine. When I polished off the book, though, I had to ask myself: could I stay awake all night reading the Bible? Would I be that intrigued? It's an interesting question that leads to even more interesting questions, which I will ponder indepth in a later post.
Not only do I like to eat books, I also like to eat hot dogs... although maybe not anymore. After clicking on Gaines' post about the ridiculous 911 call in Oregon (drat. somebody tell me how to figure out the address for a specific post so I can link these things...), I played around on the CNN website and came across a video for a hot dog prank (type it into the CNN search engine; it's worth it!) played by two sisters for over 50 years. Picture two little old ladies in their eighties mailing a mummified hot dog back and forth to each other. Disgusting, but hilarious!
It was a poor segue, but I had to mention the hot dog ladies. I hope I'm that fun when I'm old.
Friday, July 07, 2006
More entertaining things that I have brought back from my travels... from Madison, WI:
a delphinum plant to replace the oft-mourned cilantro
about 8,000 InterVarsity Press books... each day, there was a free book o' the day--whoo hoo!
flip-flop air fresheners, brownies, root beer, t-shirts, and mugs as souvenirs
bratwurst (soooo yummy)
cheese (also good)
Thank God for expandable luggage and styrofoam coolers.
and from Centennial Olympic Park on the 4th of July:
soggy, soggy clothes
Yup, it rained on us. How rude. It was also depressing to hear them set the fireworks off on the 5th of July. But other than getting soaked, the 4th was good. We had some friends over, and we grilled out. (We grilled hamburgers & hot dogs, not our friends). Those friends included some new folks that I met at my part-time job and just randomly invited over. What a hoot. Their 3rd day in Atlanta, they get invited over to someone's house that they don't know and bond with a bunch of strangers by getting drenched in the rain. (If you wear a GT shirt around me, I'll feel that we have a true connection and I may try to become your friend. Just a warning.) We also pranked one of our friends who is an avid carnivore by telling him that all the dogs and such were tofu. I can tell the caliber of someone by whether or not they are willing to tease a person they just met. Good stuff.
In addition to making new friends, it's been a week down memory lane. On Sunday, we were standing around talking before the service, when in walks someone I haven't seen in 11 years, since he graduated from High School the class before mine. I definitely did a double-take! What are the odds? I know it's dangerous to go to our hometown WalMart, because you're bound to see someone there. But here in Atlanta, I certainly don't expect to bump into folks from New Mexico. Weird.
And then there's MySpace. I expect to see old friends there, but it's still strange to find out they have indeed aged the same amount of years that I have, instead of being in stasis. When did I get old? Don't answer that.
While we're asking questions (I love non-sequitors), here's an interesting article about the evolution of dictionaries. I had no idea that the word "nice" used to be negative... and to think of all the people that I have called nice! It's also interesting to hear that the Scrabble dictionary no longer contains offensive slurs. I applaud that. Although, the quote from the Anti-Defamation League (who the heck is that? I'm afraid to click the link!) was amusing. While there is indeed "no room on the board for prejudice," sometimes all you have is two C's, two R's, an A, a K and an E.
And here's another question: If you addecimate regularly & give traboccantly, are a sacricolist, and aren't paterophobic, does that make up for being an agonyclite? Hmmm... My favorite word in the Phrontistery's collection of lost words was flosculation. The entire site was pretty cool, actually. Although the phrase "International House of Loghorrea" makes me feel a little nauseated.
I love being a nerd.
Friday, June 30, 2006
Luckily, we didn't crash into the lake so it was all a moot point. Still, I paid better attention on the return flight. Just in case.
It was a good trip, and a very nice flight! Midwest Airlines not only has large, leather recliners throughout the entire cabin, but they serve fresh, baked-on-board, warm chocolate chip cookies. Man oh man. I burned my lip on one of the cookies, but it was so worth it!
Leaving the airport, we saw a girl wheeling a large suitcase along... on the front of which was crouched a small boy, having the time of his life. What a funny sight! With his dark green tie-dye shirt, he really did look like a little tree frog.
For today's time wasting options, try this blog, which has several bizarre and amusing things to click on. My favorites: the Amityville Toaster, the Sad Chicken video, and Where the Hell is Matt?
God Bless Al Gore for inventing the internet.
Thursday, June 22, 2006
In response to claims that the "M" for "Mature" is too vague (and, as he pointed out, entirely inappropriate to video gamers, ha ha ha), he suggested "D" for "Dropout," "W" for Wastoid," and "CMB" for "Child in Man's Body." Oooooh hooo! That hits close to home for some of us, eh?
Stewart's commentary on Rep. Joseph Pitts (R-Penn.)'s horrifyingly racist babblings was nothing short of genius, and is what led to the brilliant tagline above. It's a shame that the last part of the segment didn't make the webclip. Seeing his colleague, a "PlayStationologist," reporting Live on location from San Andreas... things blowing up in the background, her comments on how the residents of San Andreas felt about the Congressional hearings...
I was also amused to read a CNN article about the intelligence of "Daily Show" viewers. Apparently, you really can learn something from watching Comedy Central!
EDIT: You can indeed get the full segment on YouTube. Sweet!
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Holy Crap it's been forever since I posted! And I don't really have that much to say (do I ever?) except hello from Wisconsin, land of cows and cheese. Moo, indeed.
I think I'll sum up the events of the last month in the fun things I've collected. From New Mexico, I brought back:
1 bag of Valencia peanuts
2 peanut patties (one of which Kennan ate when I wasn't looking)
3 jars of salsa
1 jar of green chile sauce
6 cans of green chiles
a "spoonula" (Wal-Mart has the weirdest kitchen gadgets)...
even though it was Mother's Day and my Mom's birthday, so I had to take a lot of presents with me from Atlanta to New Mexico, I still came home with way more than would fit in my suitcase. Go figure.
Upon my return home, I had my first run-in with a celebrity! John de Lancie came into work, and I was the only one who recognized him as "Q" of Star Trek: The Next Generation fame. Sometimes being a nerd does pay off. From that meeting, I brought home:
a wild story
an invitation to the opera, Tosca, that de Lancie was in town directing
his signature on my program
It was awesome to meet him and accept his invitation to sit at the tech table, 4 seats down from him, in the best seats we'll ever get to have for the opera. It was a beautiful show and we had a fun date night!
We also celebrated our 5 year anniversary at the beginning of the month. Whoo hoo! From that celebration, I got:
a new palm! which is why I can even remember where I've been for the past month
a great trip to Nashville with my best friend
fun times with Chris & Kara
the yummiest candle ever---pineapple, mandarin & ginger
The following couple of weeks flew by in a blur of work, friends, family and our cats. Then came a national holiday here in ChandraLand: my birthday! From that day, I took home:
a belly full of ice cream from the Vermonster we got at Ben & Jerry's and a hamburger & fries from the Fudd
the buckety-tub thing from the Vermonster, which is large enough that I think we'll use it as a spare bedroom
fun memories from seeing several of my favorite people all getting to meet each other/enjoy each other's company
sweet and/or funny cards, beautiful flowers, and a new piece of Tech decor that is the COOLEST THING EVER
Derek, Sandra & MPJ tunes all still floating through my mind from the concert
Derek, Sandra & MPJ tunes for our computer (I'm listening to Throwing Punches in the Dark right now, and it's mah-velous!)
a wireless mouse for my laptop, Football for Dummies (gotta brush up---it's less than 80 days until football season starts!), 2 of my favorite Star Trek novels that I've already devoured (burp. spit out book spine. repeat.), a new puzzle, etc. etc. Lots of good loot.
... and, most importantly, a sense of immense gratitude and joy at the friends and family God has given me. I was so overwhelmed with joy Saturday night that I couldn't really sleep. (I'm sure an unholy amount of sugar and excitement didn't help, either...) I love gifts, it's true, but not just because I'm a materialistic mess. I felt so loved and appreciated that people would spend money, time & effort to show me that they care. I couldn't get over the number of people who drove quite a distance to be a part of my little celebration. I was humbled to have people give me generous hugs and sweet birthday wishes, even when I can be so snarly and stressed out, all too often.
And as I was lying in bed that night, listening to Kennan snooze happily beside me, I was in awe that part of my worship unto the Lord is to love these people, these good gifts, these memories that God has given me. What joy I have in knowing that enjoying these gifts is part of enjoying God. What a God we have to create us in His image and give us the ability to love and care for each other.
It's been a great month. Heck, it's been a great 28 years!
Monday, May 15, 2006
Hello! Greetings from New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment. It's been good to be home. Even though Atlanta is now our home, this will always be home, too. It's a muy bonito place, in a very stark way. And it's so, so good to be with family. For those of you who haven't had the privilege of visiting these tierras hermosas, especially our little farming town, here's a primer. Some things that have made me smile:
Discovering that on Saturday, the temperature was actually an unholy 91 degrees Farenheit (sorry, Sam---I don't do degrees Celsius) but I had no idea because there was a brisk breeze and very little humidity...
Eating green chile, and lots of it...
Seeing the sky, and not just a green canopy overhead...
Meeting up with old friends at the (nice, clean!) Wal-Mart, the social hub of the county...
Did I mention eating a lot of green chile?
Waving at people on the road and not having to worry about scaring or offending them (you just wave at everyone because that's what you do!)...
Watching Food TV at my in-laws (okay, that's not unique to New Mexico by any stretch, but it is a perk of coming home since we don't have cable at home, in an effort to actually leave our sofa at times)...
My own rusty attempts at Spanish. I grew up here and still can't speak the language very well. Muy embarazoso!
Seeing the random small-townisms: "Taco Box, taco 'bout good, full of Boxpitality" and "RC Feed & Supply, Bridal Registry Inside..."
Getting about 80 hugs from the sweetest group elderly folks you will ever meet (I think I missed the first half of the worship service trying to get them all in)...
The homegrown newspaper, with interviews with local school children and typos galore...
Buying 3 jars of real, fresh, New Mexican salsa from our favorite restaurant, to bring home and promptly devour...
I could go on and on! It's been a fantastic week, and I'm grateful to be here. But it will also be nice to be back home tomorrow. There are little things there, too, that make me smile:
Having our entire Square Peg Artists collection at my fingertips on our computer (iPod for Christmas? I wouldn't complain)... Listening to Scarce and Appendix A doesn't get old, per se, but I miss Miracle of Forgetting and Love and Thunder, among others...
Getting to promote the Square Pegs at work whenever I can---last week I got to write down some websites for a lady that really liked Jars of Clay but had never heard of Caedmon's Call or any of the Andys (gasp!)...
Watching our plants grow as we count down to eating city bred tomatoes (mmmm, love that acid rain!)
Spending time with our awesome friends who generously hooked me up with plane tickets to see my Mom for Mother's Day, who pooled their resources to help my parents through a rough financial time, who love the Lord immensely, and who are the best, most refreshing kind of crazy, to boot...
Harrassing our crazy cats, who love every minute of it...
Watching the little countdown clock on my desktop that is counting down until football season starts...
Reading aloud, with all the voices, to Kennan after a hard day of work...
Hearing the Word of God preached in a British accent, with that dry British humor...
Knowing that I'm home! ...but I guess that's true wherever I am. How blessed am I.
Las Gracias esten al Dios! Thanks be to God!
Monday, May 08, 2006
Tonight, we heard a neighbor's truck start up, back up, and then we heard a loud CRACK! Oh my.
We opened the front door. I was expecting to see a truck sticking out of the side of the apartment... it wouldn't be the first time, actually. (The last time a truck crashed into my house, I was in High School and it made front page news in our little town.)
When we stepped outside, the neighbor's truck was back in its spot, but we heard the neighbor dropping rather vehement F-bombs. "Yup, I'd say he did back into something," I said to Kennan.
The neighbor, who moved in a couple of weeks ago and we hadn't yet met, came running over, apologizing and cursing profusely. I was hard pressed not to laugh, just because the entire thing seemed rather surreal. I was also grateful that it wasn't me for once! Our neighbor, though, was hopping up and down and was very upset. Apparently, he was in a hurry. And I have to admit that it is a tight squeeze, especially for a large truck.
Kennan examined the gate, and found a medium-sized split in the wood. No biggie. It was easy enough for Kennan to snap it back into place. We chatted with the neighbor a second, asked if he was okay, and helped him back out without hitting anything. Then we discovered a most amazing thing.
Our gate is fixed.
Completely fixed. It doesn't sag anymore, it latches, and it looks just fine.
What a scream! If only all home improvement were so easy.
On a related note, our tomatoes and catnip are flourishing. Yay! I think we'll have to buy a trellis soon. Sadly, our cilantro (NOT for salsa, just for Indian Dal lentils, thank you very much) is being munched upon by some wretched little creature-bug type of thing. I mourn for thee, cilantro! You were so bright, so green, so healthy! Rest in Peace, dear cilantro. Maybe we'll have better luck next time.
Maybe if we get the neighbors to come stomp on the plant, it would miraculously kill the bugs and reanimate the cilantro. Hmmmm...
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
Monday, May 01, 2006
Now, I don't much like Dub-ya (lesser of two evils, I tell you) and I think FEMA did make some mistakes, as well. But my disgruntlement with Cynthia McKinney can be summed up in two words: "ghetto-fabulous." I blame Shirley Franklin, our bling-blingin' mayor. Since when did Tupac become someone to quote as a wise sage of the ages? GRRGHHH. After the incident with the Capitol Hill police officer, Rep. McKinney said that some things never change (referring to racism and prejudice), as "Tupac said." Oh, great. Let's combat the stereotype of a lesser-than black person by being ignorant. It drives me crazy that the Hip Hop culture has become such a revered thing in Atlanta---excuse me, the ATL. Yo.
When intelligent folks (black, white and every shade between) hold up as role models the thugs that like to "slap their ho's" and "smack their bitches," I just don't get it. Yes, there is something special and unique in the Hip Hop culture. No, I don't think a "young brother" should have to be "white" to succeed in the world. But why is it that while a Latino might be able to find the good parts of a rich heritage and blend them into the boring, white bread majority, the usual African-American response is to take the very worst parts of the culture and strap them on like weapons?
Shirley Franklin has made our city into "the ATL" and it drives me nuts. When I was teaching in South DeKalb, at a primarily (okay, all) black school, it was a battle to get the kids to want to learn about Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King. They wanted to hear about Usher and Lil' Kim. African culture was only interesting to them as it applied to what their favorite celebrities were wearing or decorating their million-dollar homes with. I know that other cultures glorify violence, promiscuous sex and drugs, too. I'm aware that I'm speaking in generalities and stereotypes. But it hurt so much to look at an eager, shining face and see there all the promise and possibility of a young life, being stunted by the belief that her highest achievement would be to slink around in the background of a "Yo! MTV Raps" prime-time video. That is why Cynthia McKinney hacks me off, because even though she has made her way in the world of politics, she endorses a style of living that doesn't really appreciate her achievements, except as they further that life style. The large number of successful, graceful, proud black women fades into the background in the spotlight of her antics.
So there you have it, my friend. My political thoughts for the year. I try to stay away because politics in general aggravate me. I think they're all crazy and crooked, just to varying degrees and in their own special ways.
As for religion, I'll delve into controversial subjects therein with much more regularity. While thinking about the importance of Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, and Sola Scriptura, I came across this website, which has really gotten me to thinking. One of the nice things about Reformed theology is that you don't necessarily have to ascribe to every single intricate detail to still be worshiping God in Spirit and in Truth. Unless you're a hyper-Calvinist, in which case not many of us may make it to heaven, anyway, and can we really know for sure until we get there?
I enjoyed reading the website, written by a former obsessive Calvinist who has now converted to Catholicism. I thought he had a lot of good things to say about the battles (both theological and more practical) between Catholics and Protestants. I'm still working out where I stand on certain Reformed theology, and I don't strictly adhere to the basic TULIP model. And the title alone, "Snipping Calvin's Tulip," was good for a chuckle.
At the end of the article, though, I found myself disgruntled by the author's exhortations to pray for "our Calvinistic friends." He says that "Only God can change minds and warm hearts" (ironic, I thought... perhaps he has not rid the lies of Calvin from his soul so thoroughly as he thought) and extends a genuine heart of love for us Protestant folks. It's nice, but it embodies what so many believers, from all denominations alike, get caught up in: trying to convert people to a specific denomination. Instead of reaching out to those not part of God's Holy catholic Church (little c) and loving the world as did Christ, we get caught up in petty squabbles about non-essential matters. It's a brilliant strategy of Satan's and it works quite well.
I'm reminded of Andy Gullahorn's song, "If I Were" where he says:
"No, I'm not the devil but if I was, I'd take God's people and split them up/ to keep their minds off who they're called to be. So they're no longer fighting over living or dead/ it's is it the body or just bread/ while all the unfed die hungry on the street."
copyright 2001 and don't even think about stealing lyrics, etc... visit his website, because I for one don't want him & Jill & the kids to have to live under a bridge and eat grubs from under a rock because they can't afford to make house payments (his joke, not mine). Buy a cd---it's really good!
Wow. I think that sums it up. So there's my controversial religious thought for the day. With more to follow, I'm sure!
Sunday, April 30, 2006
- A really good time of talking and prayer with Kennan on the drive up to Charlotte, NC... much needed after a pretty lousy week. We've also been re-reading the Anne of Green Gables series together, so that made the drive go quickly.
- A fantastic time getting to see our friend THE LARRYNATOR, who does an impression of Animal (from the Muppets) like no other
- Getting to see the Andrew Peterson show in Chapel Hill. Highlights from that---
- getting to see not only AP but also his multi-talented and zany tour partner, Ben Shive, who played the Super Mario Bros. sound track on the piano (including secret levels and getting the star at the end of the level!) just for grins
- hearing a new song (which was quite nice) and seeing the amazing, healthy, brotherly love between AP and Ben as evidenced by the encouraging smile that Ben gave Andy when he was nervous
- also getting to see their new partner in (touring) crime, Andy Gullahorn, who brought the house down with "Green Hills Mall"
- getting a copy of AP's newest CD, Appendix A: Bootlegs & B-Sides and splurging to get Andy Gullahorn's Room to Breathe
- hearing a barbershop quartet (okay, trio) version of "Matthew's Begats" from Behold the Lamb of God
- chatting with Andrew after the show, and getting to hear him say "I eat snot" in Swedish
- while waiting to see AP, meeting a new friend (hi Angie!), who will be moving to our neck of the woods soon...
- EDIT--I forgot this one: When Andrew was leading us in singing along with "Let There Be Light," he said something along the lines of, "I'll sing, 'Let there be light' and then you sing... [big, dramatic pause, and I'm expecting him to say, "Liiiighhhttt..." because that's how it goes, but instead he says...] icckkyy-icckkyy-eyyyyyeeee!"(or something to that effect.) It was very tribal sounding, and the looks on the faces of folks who were trying to see if he was joking or not were too funny.
- Touring downtown Charlotte with Larry, imagining that the kitchen of the restaurant we ate in was run by the Swedish Chef (bork bork!)
- Another good drive back from Charlotte, with more "irrepressible Anne", and coming home with my best friend to our insane cats
- A great, challenging sermon at ChristChurch this morning
- Watching Muffin Films with Gordon & Christy tonight after work
- Signing off of blogspot in just a minute to read some more with Kennan!
Friday, April 28, 2006
But I must say, that I haven't agreed with several key calls over the past season (Reggie throwing towards Calvin in the end zone at the end of the NC State game, instead of giving the ball to PJ and letting him drag the defensive line into the end zone with him... SIGH... that image still haunts me) and so it's a nice addition to a fresh start on a new season... that will begin in exactly 126 days. Yippee! I've installed a countdown clock on my desktop, and it's tantalizing me. Driving past Bobby Dodd Stadium on North Ave is too much. I see hot dogs in the grocery store and I can't handle the suspense.
HOW LONG UNTIL FOOTBALL SEASON STARTS?!?
Oh. Right. 126 days, 14 hours, 8 minutes and 36 seconds.
Sunday, April 16, 2006
Life has been crazy lately (hence my ridiculous absence from our blog!), but good. I've been working a lot of hours at my part-time job, and Kennan is still chugging away at his PhD in concrete. The cats are as crazy as ever, and shedding to boot. Spring in Atlanta has finally sprung, and we're in that peaceful two weeks where it's still not too humid (by Georgia standards, anyway), the mosquitoes are not yet out in force, and the A/C is still not really necessary.
I'm trying to not fret about the coming summer months... my mother is fairly certain that I'll catch West Nile disease one of these summers, and I'm not looking forward to having my forehead dotted with mosquito bite bumps. The mosquitoes in Georgia are mean. I'm fairly certain they have organized labor unions. While we were cleaning out the patio yesterday I found lots of small round things that most people would claim are acorn caps, but I know better. They're little hard hats, and I'm keeping an eye out for tiny picket signs hidden in the bushes bearing slogans like, "Hell No, We Won't Go!" and "Insects Are People, Too!" in Mosquitoese.
Oh, you scoff now... but wait until they start getting into politics. See, they've already invaded our advertizing (look carefully at TV commercials and you'll see them), they're working their way into the business world (those smudges that you thought were caused by a toner problem with the copier? Mosquito Mob hits), and once they control the House and the Senate...
But for today, it's Springtime in Atlanta, the pollen count isn't too high (more on that conspiracy later), and the results from my Mom's lymph node surgery came back negative---a huge victory in her fight with breast cancer.
Jesus is Risen, my faith is not in vain, and I'm surrounded by loved ones and creature comforts. And on the days when doubt assails me, I feel bereft and alone, and not very comforable, I trust that He is with me still.
Peace be with you... and also with you!
Saturday, April 01, 2006
Happy April Fools' Day with love from us & the Enquirer.
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
But I checked email (I think I had vague intentions of getting work done), which then lead to checking MySpace messages, which lead to reading up on old friends, some of whom I haven't seen in years. I'm teary-eyed because I just finished reading one blog entry about getting dumped. It was beautiful, sad, articulate and vulnerable. And it was written by a gay man, which makes me wince. I'm not comfortable with homosexuality. So my tears are both for him and for me.
When did I stop remembering that our LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered) friends have feelings? I think I've been laboring under a false assumption that stems both from my prejudices as well as the flamboyant gay culture. So much of the airs & attitudes of a stereotypical gay man are so far from real feelings. They're exaggerated, over-the-top; a well rehearsed musical production.
But to be so poignantly reminded that it hurts to lose someone you love, even though (I won't pull punches here) I don't think it's a healthly sort of love...
I feel disgusted with myself to realize that in holding fast to my religious beliefs about one thing, I've in so many ways missed the larger picture. I won't condone or accept homosexuality as a healthy lifestyle, and I don't think God does, either. If that makes me intolerant, then so be it. But, somewhere along the way between when I first discovered the saving love of Christ and where I am now, I've let being intolerant translate into being unloving. Some would argue that they are one in the same, but I'm not getting swept up into that discussion just yet. I can't lose this thought, because it's too important:
Love and intolerance can co-exist.
It looks ridiculous, and it sounds even worse. But I truly believe that love is a choice, an action, a decision. For some circumstances and with some people, that choice comes more easily. With my husband and my family, I can't help but feel love for them. But how often do I choose to actively love them, with Christ's love? It's tough to overcome my selfish nature and think of them first. And if it's hard to actively love them, it's damn near impossible to love those that irk me, that don't share my beliefs, convictions and values, that find me intolerant, that make me uncomfortable.
But even if it's true that love is a choice we make to verify the emotion we feel, where on earth would intolerance come in? Shouldn't we love people the way they are? Who are we to say what is best for them?
Well, now we've come down to it, haven't we. Judging. Being judgemental. Who am I to say that homosexual love isn't healthy? It's a shocking, hate-filled statement, especially in this day and age. But where do we draw the line? The Bible, this crazy, radical, controversial book that I cling to, has verses that I interpret to say that lots of actions aren't pleasing to God. Homosexuality is one of them. But so is not loving your neighbor, and in fact, when Jesus was asked to distill the commandments down, loving God (with all your heart, soul, mind and strength) and loving your neighbor as yourself made the cut. When Jesus answered, he never mentioned sexual orientation, political beliefs, views on communion and baptism, or eating habits (just to name a few of the many controversies that tear people apart).
Those two things, loving God and loving others, are the guiding principles by which I must apply everything else that Jesus said. And while I've tried to love and honor God by striving to uphold holy standards, I've forgotten to love my neighbor. All the way from the next-door neighbors here in Atlanta, to people that I once knew, now on the other side of the country. Somehow, it's fairly easy to find a "neighbor" in India that I can love, financially support and pray for. But I've missed people in the middle. NIMBY (not in my backyard) takes on a whole new and ugly meaning.
So where does that leave me? How can I be both loving and intolerant? The phrase "love the sinner but hate the sin" pops into my mind, but it seems indifferent and cruel, as though our sins aren't a part of us. We are born into this fallen world, and we live with the scars of our choices. It's an especially vile phrase when I stop to think that LGBT folks see their sexual orientation as their identity, not as a problem. And again, who am I to say differently?
If anyone is still with me at this point, and hasn't already hit the comment button to either: 1) blast me for my hate-speech, or 2) criticize me for my lack of Biblical knowledge, then I beg you to stick with me for just a few sentences longer (after which, you are of course welcome to have at it. I won't even turn on the comment moderation).
What I would like to say is this---I'm sorry. I'm sorry for all the times I've judged you (even if I don't really know you, and perhaps all the more because I don't) and others for lifestyle, behavior, choices, decisions, etc. But beyond my prejudice is a love for people that wants them to know the peace of Jesus I've found. Yes, it sounds preachy and churchy even in my ears. Sorry. But I can't think of any other way to put it. The point is not whether you're gay or straight, Republican or Democrat, Catholic or Protestant, a vegetarian or a carnivore. (har har.)
The point is, I believe in the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, who came to earth fully human & fully divine, who lived a holy life, was crucified, died and was raised to life by God the Father. I love Him. I cling to Him and His words and promises. And what He taught, that I so often forget, is that it's not my job to judge or condemn. We've all got problems with anger, with hate, with loneliness & despair, with that haunting feeling in the middle of the night that we can't do this thing called life on our own.
It is my job to proclaim (with boldness---ack!) that God is here, He's active and present, and He wants us to know Him. I believe what the Bible says because I can't help it. The Bible often makes me uncomfortable. I don't like some of what I read. I don't get this God who seems loving one minute and cruel the next. But I trust that He's real... and believing in a God that challenges me and makes life challenging is so much better than the alternative. God isn't "easy" to love, but the alternative is to love a big, fat Nothing.
At an AIDS awareness/benefit concert we went to in Chattanooga I was privileged to hear the story of one couple who cared for their gay son for 15 months while he grew weaker and weaker. They're Southern Baptists. Wow. I don't know what they said to him. I don't know what conversations they might have had with him. But I do know that they loved him. They chose to come down to Atlanta from Chattanooga and care for their dying son. They chose to be involved in his life, to get to know his gay friends. They chose to not get so caught up in saying "Thou shalt not" and chose instead to focus on saying, "We love you."
Why do I cry for an old friend whose boyfriend dumped him? Because he's hurting. Because I want more for him. Because I haven't been there for him, and wouldn't know what to do if I tried. I don't want to argue about right and wrong. I want to love my friend, in word, thought & deed. Perhaps if we as Christians spent more time talking about Jesus, and less about people and their problems, our love would be less often just an emotion.
To wrap this up, I'll use a concept (i.e. cop-out) from one of my favorite artists regarding where I get my ideas from:
"...because i can't afford to pay/ for most of what i say/ so it's a lucky thing/ that the truth's public domain... and i am like a mockingbird/ i've got no new song to sing/ and I am like an amplifier/ i just tell you what i've heard/ oh, i'm like a mockingbird..."
copyright 2005 Derek Webb... and no, I don't know what his thoughts on homosexuality are, but I do know that he loves people actively, so that's good enough for me!
I hope I haven't hurt anyone with my controversial thoughts. I hope you can accept my apology. And I hope and pray that God will grant me the grace to learn more each day about how best to love Him and others. Amen.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
InterVarsity training is going super and I'm learning a lot. Including the existence of a fantastic website which hosts the "WayBackMachine," a spooky, hilarious bit of technology.
I was discussing with one of my new friends (Hi, Jason!) how blogs are international, and there for all to see. He mentioned that they are also there for all eternity. Strange concept, given the fluid nature of the internet. He pontificated. No, as he has now pointed out to me, my artistic license goes too far. Fine then. He SAID (bor-ing) that this fantastic machine can show all the variations of any given website, from beginning to end.
I typed in our old church website. Sigh. Oh, its humble beginnings. From 4 pages beginning on March 2, 2001; to 10 pages; then 11; then back to 4 on its final day of March 6, 2005. Those four years of the website (almost to the day) are nothing compared to almost 100 years of the church's rich history. It makes me sad. It's a bit like a funeral service, I guess. I have to grieve and move on. But like pictures on a fireplace mantel of a departed loved one, it's sweet to know I can still see the old website in all its glory (har har).
I guess the challenge is to realize that was then, and this is now. The fact that the website is now gone from all but a little electronic time machine is a poignant reminder that there's no point in trying to dig up and give CPR to the old church. It's painful to look at a picture and say goodbye, but it's both painful and gross to try to exhume the body. I have to celebrate what was and move on in good faith of what God is doing now, and what He will do in the future.
Kennan says I am alarmingly transparent on this blog. I suppose he's right, but I can't seem to help myself. But oh, the drafts that will never get posted! I do have some sense of shame, after all. And yes, I tend to take some amount of artistic license but I'm trying to curb that. As I was saying during my tea with Queen Elizabeth just the other day, "Now Liz, there's no point in making crap up. Life is far too interesting to mess it all up by being overimaginative."
She chuckled heartily at my boundless wit and offered me another crumpet. As do most of the famous folks I spend time with!
Friday, March 17, 2006
| I can feel the tugof the halter at the nape|
of her neck, the wind
on her naked front.
It blows her nipples
to amber beads,
it shakes the frail rigging
of her ribs.
I can see her drowned
body in the bog,
the weighing stone,
the floating rods and boughs.
Under which at first
she was a barked sapling
that is dug up
her shaved head
like a stubble of black corn,
her blindfold a soiled bandage,
her noose a ring
the memories of love.
before they punished you
you were flaxen-haired,
undernourished, and your
tar-black face was beautiful.
My poor scapegoat,
I almost love you
but would have cast, I know,
the stones of silence.
I am the artful voyeur
of your brain's exposed
and darkened combs,
your muscles' webbing
and all your numbered bones:
I who have stood dumb
when your betraying sisters,
cauled in tar,
wept by the railings,
who would connive
in civilized outrage
yet understand the exact
and tribal, intimate revenge.
This and other Heaney poems can be found at Poemhunter.com .