Saturday, February 28, 2009

daily practice

hm... well, i did not finish my article proposal. instead my grandma and i watched several sporting events (march madness is coming!) capped off by jeopardy and wheel! of! fortune! good times. i have a tenative opening paragraph and outline, so i'll make do.

i'm not totally sure how i fell out of the writing habit. it's odd to have to be more intentional about something that used to come so naturally.

a plus side of the unemployment time has been working my way through the enormous pile of books i had accumulated since i left regent. all the books i had heard good things about but never had the chance to read while i was studying. by studying i mean, down at the pub. anyway, i just finished colossians remixed: subverting the empire and it lived up the the high praise i had heard about it. a deeply challenging book that does an intelligent and understandable job of showing how a particular letter at a particular time to a particular people has much to say to us today. i'm still mulling over it and it's been a week since i finished it. it is fascinating to see points raised in the book come up in everyday situations. i've also had the same fascination with the book Acedia & me. i confess that i find norris a bit difficult to read, she bounces around from personal narrative to history to her own musings with no discernible pattern. regardless, there is much to be learned about the condition of acedia, which is more or less apathy - she goes into more detail about what it entails. the gradual numbing/desensitization of our culture is something to be wary of. if you don't care that you are sick, what does it matter that there is a healer? a tough challenge for the church and the renewing power of the gospel.

i'm hurting for some fiction though. i burned through that stuff first and now i have several nonfiction books to get through before i allow myself to get any more books. anyone want to send me a good story?


well, i missed yesterday. but i have a good excuse - i was treated to free tickets to the warriors game. somehow i end up in these kinds of situations - housesitting gigs, free tickets, etc. unexpected things like this keeps me from going crazy. my unemployed friend and i enjoyed the night out and then afterward commiserated late into the night on life as an adult still dependent on parents and living out of boxes. this too shall pass.

like a true procrastinator, i have left my article proposal to the last day. i'll be working on that today.

i will probably post something again later today.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

who cares

so today i was reflecting on apathy. trying to write an article concerning "the National Study of Youth and Religion recently coined a term to describe American young people's overall ethos regarding their faith: "A Benign Whateverism." " perhaps my haphazard thoughts here will help streamline my article proposal (and keep up on my lenten task!).

my basic thoughts are: a benign whateverism is a natural response to the millions of messages and demands that are put on kids today. with so slick pitches and ads, so much riding on their future success and happiness, it seems pretty easy to put faith on the back burner. still, like all of us, kids want something real, something to believe in, and under the front of apathy, they are paying attention.

apathy is challenging in how it turns a person inward, and the inability to feel anything. it's like trying to find a way through fog. how are we preaching the gospel? are we just another one of the talking heads on tv, another demand on kid's time? obviously, compared to Xboxes and Ipods, the church will lose that battle. what kind of gospel are we preaching? or, even better, living? God is about hope, community rest, and consistency (following a rhythm).

having trouble finishing sentences. must be tired. more tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

lenten considerations

okay... so it's lent. i will attempt to journal/blog each day. writing is a discipline i have long neglected. and i considered giving up some things, coffee, meat, etc. and then this occurred to me... to take up the pen/keyboard again and it felt right. we'll see...

helped serve at the ash wednesday tonight. part of the service involved the tearing of cloth, a sign of mourning. a few of us were to drape the cloth around people necks as they came into the church. we were also to say "the god of grace knows the depth of your sin" as we did so. can't say i was totally thrilled to find out that detail when i got there, regardless of my resolve to be extroverted this year. been feeling a bit under the weather. but i managed to foist most of the duties onto an eager junior higher. we chuckled together at how awkward this face to face interaction was for people, as they dashed in from their hectic day and came to worship. people tried to walk past us quickly, or tried to take the cloth out of my hand. of course, hearing the words "the god of grace knows the depth of your sin" would be enough for me to turn around and walk right back out the door - that fact gives me the heebie jeebies a little bit. but it made me kind of wish that every sunday, a person was greeted by another person with eye contact made, heartfelt greetings exchanged (beyond handing someone a bulletin), and the doors thrown open wide for all us broke down sinners to come in.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

in between

i'm inhabiting the grey area between being sick and being well. sick enough to not feel great, but well enough that i am kind of annoyed that i don't feel good. you know?

i'm tempted to just push through it, but i know that doesn't usually work. i did that on saturday with my brother in our zeal to go to the grilled cheese invitational, but by the time we both got moving, it was mostly over when we cruised past it. yes, we love things like grilled cheese invitationals. we strolled around the mission district and i went home. then i slept through sunday. really, like the whole day. i mean, i like sleeping A LOT. but this was excessive - only when i am under the weather do i really sleep this much. i guess it rained the whole day so i don't think i missed anything. oh, the oscars... but i'm okay with not seeing that. although i'd actually seen some of the movies up for awards this year, so i wouldn't have felt so out of it as i did last year. i confess that i have a tiny crush on the dude from slumdog millionaire (the main contestant guy, not the game show host, come on people) even if he is far too young for me (me? cougar? nah!). it must be his mind for trivia as well as his boyish good looks. haha!

lights of hope on the horizon: phone interview friday. buddy putting in a good word for me at tj's. hoping for a tax refund. barack obama correctly pronouncing multisyllabic words correctly in his speech to congress. spring training has started.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

deep breaths

today was not such a good day. a while back i applied online to whole foods. online applications for jobs feel like an exercise in futility. anyway, today i got the rejection email. seriously? come on now. it's just the kind of small jarring thing that snowballs into feeling like i'm never going to find a job. oh, i know i'm when i'm taking crazy pills - i can recognize that kind of thinking for what it is, just thinking. nevertheless, it is still a bit discouraging. sigh.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


i just got back from a weekend ski trip with a bunch of high schoolers. only recently have i realized that maybe other people would not want to spend their time like this - in relationship with high schoolers. it seems so ingrained to me that i assumed that everyone did.

my body is complaining about the pain i inflicted on myself - in the neighborhood of 10 bruises including 2 on my stomach after diving over a folding chair. i know that someday i will not be able to do this kind of thing, and i probably even shouldn't be doing it now - but i do it anyway and probably will for a long time. my immune system seems to be firing on all cylinders, as i have not fallen ill. getting rest helps - by rest i mean falling asleep for 2 hours in a chair with my nose in a book.

i'm not a huge fan of snow. at least i am not a huge fan of driving distances to go where there is snow (i didn't mind living in cities where it snowed). nor am i a fan of driving in snow. or driving with snow chains. if you miss the noise, i think it would sound a lot like putting a length of chain in a clothes dryer, climbing in after them and then turning the dryer on.

besides that, i enjoyed myself, laughed a lot, and ate a lot of food (these things are all i really need to have a good time). i consider how i felt a year ago and marvel at how different i feel, even though the circumstances haven't really changed a ton. last year, some kids were looking at pictures on my computer from my grad school days and asked why i didn't smile like that anymore. kids can be like that - flippantly asking something that somehow cuts to the core of things. while i struggled for an answer, they had already moved on. now, it is not hard for me to smile. that's the simple way of explaining things, and pretty much the bottom line.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

whole shack shimmy

the karaoke trifecta was completed on monday night. this time it was "love shack" as you can guess from the title. going to karaoke three nights in a row was kind of a blur (not to mention that we stayed 'til closing at each one). i have tried to lay low since then. a mellow weekend was right up my alley.

in the never-ending search for a job... i have now applied to trader joe's. a buddy of my brother works at one. it's all in who you know right? i also applied for a job at the place i've been volunteering in the city. being a program assistant, helping homeless and low income people with how to use computer and find jobs. hm... perhaps i should have been taking advantage of this service myself. anyway, i'd really love to work there, so prayers would be appreciated.

Monday, February 02, 2009

post #667, even better than the mark of the beast!

extrovert update: the brother and his high school buddies had a reunion of sorts this weekend. they do it every so often - it involves booze, super nintendo games, karaoke and quoting as much movie/tv/simpsons dialogue as they can. they are all like brothers, by extension, and i end up hitting the karaoke stage with them. saturday: here i go again by whitesnake (a real crowd pleaser, this may be my go-to karaoke song). sunday: gangsta's paradise by coolio (also a standby favorite, but i was somewhat foiled by the lyrics not changing colors for some reason - very disappointing) we'll see if it'll be a hat trick tonight. any requests?

i know i have done this prior to this year of extrovert dabbling. but i'm counting it because. because it is my personal social experiment and i'll do what i damn well please. also - doing karaoke minus alcohol requires serious extrovert mojo.

(insert sarcastic commentary on how i feel old and it takes a while to recover from being out late and being out of shape while playing football.)

that is all.