September 23, 2005

Tagged

Yay, a me-post.

10 years ago I was: Starting my freshman year at Glenpool High School. Probably working out too much, although I remember I had just quit the basketball team at the behest of my father. Shoot, I can't remember anything about that year.

5 years ago I was: Probably in my second or third week of classes my sophomore year in college. I had Hermeneutics that fall or spring, I remember, and I very often wore this bright purple sweater. My hair was really short. Three weeks later, I would meet the guy who would become something of a lengthy romantic entanglement.

1 year ago I was: In limbo. I had gotten back from a summer stint at Focus on the Family Institute a month earlier and taken on a "month" of work for a book packager (that has stretched to the present day!), and was waiting and hoping for a certain position to open at Focus. It did---six months later---and I applied...and didn't get it. I would later come to see this as a blessedly unanswered prayer for lots of reasons that would take up too much space here.

Yesterday: Was pretty uneventful. I worked on a Christmas gift book we're putting out (I wrote a short piece on the world's strangest traditions, including this horse skull thing in Wales) and the usual office stuff (one of our authors is due a shipment of books from the publisher and was concerned about getting them in light of the impending hurricane and her current status as a Gulf Coast resident). Then I came home and took my dogs out and sketched out a blog post. Later, I printed off an article to read off of Boundless.org, a defense of an article they ran last month. I remember reading that article on my twenty-fifth birthday and trying not to be infuriated in that its premise was that if you delay marriage too long, sometimes it's just too late. And some of the language was like, "If you're stalling on marrying, you're stupid/selfish/prideful/ambitious/a ho."

5 snacks I enjoy:
Milky Way Midnight bars
Raspberry chai big trains from Kaffe Bona
Plain yogurt blended with frozen berries
Cottage cheese
Guacamole

5 songs I know all the words to:

This one's tough---tough to pick five!

Every song on Our Newest Album Ever by Five Iron Frenzy
"Head Over Feet" by Alanis Morissette
"Sitting, Waiting, Wishing" by Jack Johnson (that whole album is so unbelievably good)
"Daughters" by John Mayer (actually, that whole CD)
"Criminal" by Fiona Apple

5 things I would do with 100 million dollars:

1.) Everybody else said "tithe." I can't say that just because everybody else said it, but I like to think I would give a generous portion to various relief efforts around the globe.
2.) Pay off my student loan, as well as my sister's. And since my brother's going to college next year, I'd tell him to go ahead and enroll wherever he wanted.
3.) Buy a car. Nothing fancy, probably a Honda Civic. And one for my sister too.
4.) It's silly for me to put a down payment on a house at this stage of the game (after all, I am a selfish ho). So #4 and 5 would be some combination of giving and investing.

5 places I would run away to:

1.) Any Spanish- or Portuguese-speaking country. (I loooove Portuguese.)
2.) London
3.) Buena Vista, Colorado
4.) Rural Italy, I think
5.) That's all I can think of.

5 things I would never wear:

1.) Anything mesh
2.) Anything beige
3.) Anything Abercrombie (ever)
4.) Anything chartreuse
5.) Anything that makes me in any way resemble a Spice Girl

5 favorite TV shows:

1.) Confession: I'm addicted to America's Next Top Model.
2.) CSI is veddy good.
3.) I'm also addicted to "Best Week Ever" on Vh1.

5 bad habits:

1.) Procrastinating (!)
2.) Eating too much sugar
3.) Not doing things I don't want to do (wait, that's procrastinating, isn't it?)
4.) Finishing people's sentences

5 biggest joys:

I've determined that I need to figure out what I like to do for fun. In college, I worked a lot and studied a lot and didn't really have time for good times. So I think I need to explore some fun stuff. But that's not really "joy" so much as fun. So the previous three sentences were pointless.

1.) Reading and writing
2.) Coffee and conversation
3.) Music
4.) Being tired (seriously, there's nothing quite like being absolutely spent and knowing that it's somehow worth it)
5.) Long, unhurried walks or drives

5 favorite toys:

1.) My computer

...that's really all, actually.

5 fictional characters I would date:

1.) Anyone ever portrayed by Matthew McConaughey. Ever.
2.) Okay, I know he isn't a fictional character, but do you know who I think is really attractive? Jason Lee. It's not that he's mind-blowingly hot, he's just really charming somehow. Dave Matthews also falls into that category. And Jack Johnson. Except that Jack Johnson is sort of mind-blowingly hot.
3.) Brendan Fraser's character in With Honors
4.) Wentworth in Minority Report. Colin Farrell was way hotter before I learned he was a big fat manwhore. (Okay, that was harsh, wasn't it?)
5.) Wolverine. I'm serious.

Happy Thoughts

(Man, that's like two Peter Pan titles in a row for me, isn't it?)

Itís occurred to me that my blog is kind of negative, isnít it? Like my last post --- I apparently couldnít see the humor in a forty-year-old man wearing a sack with little purple flowers all over it. I mean, come on, thatís funny.

When I was in sixth grade, I had to give a little presentation on a chosen topic for some class or another. I chose animal cruelty, a subject very near and dear to my heart. Activist Girl, here to save the day. I found a bunch of statistics and plastered them alongside a huge photo of a deeply emaciated horse on posterboard. It was like a Holocaust exhibit.

My junior year, I had to do more or less the same thing for my anatomy class. I chose Alzheimerís and described in detail the gravity and sadness of losing oneís memory and life. Later, I was congratulated on depressing the entire class.

Thatís me: depressing the crap out of everyone since 1992.

So today I shall take a break from depressio with a few Deep Thoughts. (You know that SNL sketch where Jack Handey sits down and writes out a bunch of deep thoughts?) Here are a few of my favorites and a couple of my own. I bet you can guess which ones are mine, because they suck.

Enjoy!

I hope if dogs ever take over the world, and they choose a king, they don't just go by size, because I bet there are some Chihuahuas with some good ideas.

If someone is stopped in front of you at a stoplight starts having car trouble and canít figure out whatís wrong, so they just sit there with their hazard lights on, I think a nice thing to do is run into them so they donít look stupid.

I wish I lived on a planet that had two suns---regular sun and "rogue" sun. That way, when somebody asked me what time it was, I'd say, "Regular time?" And they'd say, "Yeah." And I'd say, "Sorry, all I have is rogue time." It'd be fun to be a stuck-up rogue-time guy.

Today I accidentally stepped on a snail on the sidewalk in front of our house. And I thought, I too am like that snail. I build a defensive wall around myself, a "shell" if you will. But my shell isn't made out of a hard, protective substance. Mine is made out of tinfoil and paper bags.

If the Vikings were around today, they would probably be amazed at how much glow-in-the-dark stuff we have, and how we take so much of it for granted.

10:21 AM

September 19, 2005

A Peter Pan Complex

Yesterday I tagged along with my mom and brother to the Scottish Games and Gathering in midtown. I got a sunburn, my first this year. Last week, I commented to someone that this was the first summer of my life that I havenít gotten a sunburn, I guess because I havenít done anything very college-y this summer. Every summer during college, I spent a week with the youth group kids at camp, a prime opportunity for scorching my skin. And I spent last summer in Colorado, rafting and hiking that much closer to the sun. But this year, I went to Denver for work, and that was about it. Sigh. I guess Iím sort of a grownup.

Anyway, yesterday was interesting to say the least. These fairs always draw out all kinds of people, and alongside the expected aficionados of Celtic culture, this particular festival attracted that special subset of white people who enjoy The Lord of the Rings, Led Zeppelin, and marijuana, in no particular order.

Shortly after we arrived and began to survey the park, my mom nudged me and said something I couldnít quite hear over the bagpipes. When I looked in the direction she was pointing, I saw a fortyish man wearing a long, shapeless, floral ladiesí dress and Tevas.

You know those transgender gentlemen (ladies?) who canít afford surgery or hormones, so they just shave twice a day and walk around in womenís dresses and size-13 pumps? This guy wasnít quite like that --- he wore a full beard, for one thing, and no makeup. So Iím thinking maybe he just thought, ďHey, people wear skirts to these things, right? I'll go one better and wear a dress.Ē

I saw him a few more times throughout the afternoon, each time by himself, not talking to anyone. It was painfully sad. He was alone in the world, in a dress.

Iíve always had it in my head that when you grow up, at some point you somehow stop being lost. But, apparently, itís quite possible to reach adulthood years and still wander along the fringe, unsure of where to jump in.

In keeping with my rather disconnected frame of mind (Iíve been working on an article for a few weeks solid and am very nearly sick of thinking about any one thing for longer than about a minute), I shall conclude this post with a quote from one of the great minds of our generation, Jack Johnson:

Love is the answer, at least for most of the questions in my heart
Why are we here? And where do we go? And how come itís so hard?
Itís not always easy, and sometimes life can be deceiving.
Iíll tell you one thing, itís always better when weíre together.

09:46 PM

September 14, 2005

Headlines

I saw a couple of headlines today that pricked my culture-war ears and caused me to prepare myself for the conservative backlash. One of them was that the Massachusetts legislature turned down a bid to make homosexual marriage invalid. The other was that a judge in California has sided with that guy who thinks the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional.

I know people are going to have all kinds of things to say about these news items. One guy will start with the "We need to return to our Christian roots and get GAWD back in our schools," and both sides will start to spew from there. Spew, spew, spew.

If I might offer my two cents...

We could argue forever about the rightful place of God in public life. Seriously, forever. But maybe the Pledge of Allegiance issue isn't so much about the place of God in schools as about the place of government in schools.

I've determined that I find lots of things annoying. Pat Robertson annoyed me well before the Chavez affair. I'm annoyed by America's fascination with all things Spears/Federline. Stinging and biting insects annoy me, as well as a host of social and cultural pressures and ideas.

The thing is, I'm not demanding that someone enact a law against those pressures and ideas --- or against stinging insects. Maybe public schools aren't a governmental entity so much as a social entity --- a social entity that has certain protocols and traditions, one of which involves saying the word "God" occasionally.

I guess the question is whether a school's dependence on government funding dictates that the government should regulate any and all cultural everything done within the school walls. I think I say no.

Yeesh, I almost sound like a Republican. That won't do. Er, raise minimum wage. Or something.

09:19 PM