<$BlogRSDUrl$>

Monday, August 06, 2007


Epilogue 

This is the end, my friends. The outlet that once blogging provided for me seems to have evaporated, and I find myself more and more not wanting to write. I have enjoyed these years and these writings immensely, but have now come to the end, with no regrets. Perhaps I'll take up the pen once more in future years but until then I want to say only two things: thank you and God bless you.

-R

(8) comments

Friday, June 22, 2007


Off to the Caribbean 

That's right, back to the islands fore me, but this time for work and not play. Tomorrow at 5:30am I'm off to the Dominican Republic for a week long mission trip to help finish up the construction of a school that our Deanery has been building for 2 years. We'll be hanging doors, painting, finishing up some wiring, and doing some landscaping. If you think about it, say a little prayer for us!

-R

(2) comments

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Even Still, Respectable 

For the first time in franchise history, Forrest Gump did not end the season with a Championship. After being moved up a difficulty level to the Intermediate Division, we lost a few more games than we were accustomed to losing on account of the more competitive teams, but even so, we came in second place in the regular season. In the semi-final round we came away with a victory, 9-4. But we had no rest between the end of that game and the start of the Championship game. Already tired and against a very good team, we just could not get it going as a team. MT Pitchers beat us in the Finals, 9-1.

Despite that, I had the best offensive night I've had in a while, going 5-7 between the two games. But one cannot win a championship alone. The middle of the lineup was silent practically all night; Brennan, Jeremy, Big Brian - they could not buy a hit and we would often leave runners stranded and had more than our fair share of 3 up, 3 down half innings .

Even still though, losing in the championship round after being moved up a division, is respectable. I don't think anyone was upset and most will be returning next season to try again. We'll be losing Brennan to summer vacation, but that wasn't the big announcement of the night. We were all excited and pleased to hear that our third basewoman would only be playing half the season because she's pregnant! Congrats to Karen and Aron! They are a great couple and will make excellent parents - we're all rooting for ya!

Stick around though, cause Gump's not going anywhere!

-R

(0) comments

Monday, June 18, 2007


El Laberinto del Fauno 

So, Pan's Labyrinth is quite possibly the best movie I've watched from 2006. It was imaginative, creative, engaging, dramatic, a bit scary, with great acting and even better writing. Cannot recommend this film enough! I loved it! But I want to get your opinion on something, for those of you who've seen it.

---WARNING!!! SPOILER ALERT!---
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X

Ok, so at the end of the movie, three possible interpretations leapt into my mind. I'm pretty sure which one of them I believe, but I think all three are valid and I want to get your thoughts.

#1 - The movie is taken at face value. Ofelia dies on earth, but is reinstated as Princess Moanna in the fairy realm, where her father and mother rule as King and Queen. Pan is real, and is the servant of the Fairy King. El Capitán cannot see Pan because, duh!, he's a fairy and only children can see fairies, or because Pan chooses to reveal himself only to Ofelia.

#2 - Pan is real, but is not the servant of the Fairy King. He is, in fact, an evil character and the trickster mythology holds him to me. He is trapped in the labyrinth my some ancient magic and uses Ofelia (in her innocence) to get him out by tricking her into thinking she is the Princess Moanna. Once he is released, he will kill or orchestrate Ofelia's death, which in fact happens. Ofelia is really dead and Pan is released.

#3 - The fairy world, Pan, the "quests" and "journies," the knife, the fairies, the mandrake root (as anthropomorphized), all of it, are figments of Ofelia's active imagination. By reading the fairy tales in her books, she essentially builds a vocabularly for herself in order to create all these impossibilities as her way of dealing with the horrors of the wartime situation she is in. She comes tobelieve herself to be Princess Moanna and sets for herself these imaginative quests like most children do. El Capitán cannot see Pan in the Labyrinth because Pan does not exist. In the end, El Capitán shoots and kills Ofelia. This interpretation is bolstered for me by the fact that the final image of Ofelia the movie shows the viewer is not of her in the fairy kingdom, but is of her dead body.

#3 is the interpretation I am going with, but I'm curious, which of these makes the most sense to you? Or, do you have another interpretation?

-R

(2) comments

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Is that a Joke? 

There's a Jeff Foxworthy joke going on next door, live. Every redneck joke you've ever heard from him is actually happening. The man who owns owned the property next to my house and on the highway by the church is trying desperately to move. The new owner of the property, a development group, would like to start construction on the office park they have planned there and this man's (if such a word can be applied here) "yard" has to be cleared first.

I have never seen so much crap in one place in my entire life, and I have been to the Disney store! Let me try an outline for you the processes this man has undertaken in order to clear out. First, he removed his fence, so we all could observe what he was doing and so his mangy dogs and feral cats could run around our property. This was followed promptly by the posting of “No Trespassing” signs. Then he began work on the stuff by selling or junking the 4 or 5 automobiles (loosely applied term) and the 1 or 2 boats (maybe they floated) sitting on his front "lawn". Then he used a large trailer attached to his truck to extricate and remove from his property the 15 utility buildings where he kept more crap. Following that, he piled crap up in relatively organized piles. For example, all the rusted old useless bikes, approximately 30 of them I-kid-you-not, he leaned against a tree. I suspect this stage of the game is what uncovered the houses, and very likely his mother living in one of them. Yes, houses, plural. 4 of them. Not one to leave anything behind, he hired a crew of workmen with the appropriate heavy machinery and dug the nicest house up by the foundation, loaded it on a wide load trailer, and hauled it off to who knows where. Oh, and that was done in the middle of the night. A house!!

This process has been carrying on for months. It’s absurd. His crap keeps multiplying. The dirt pit left by the removed house has now been filled with more crap. Air compressors and handlers; more bicycles; refrigerators; odd pieces of machinery; industrial equipment, etc. etc. etc. I was awoken early this morning by the sound of more heavy equipment and looked out my window to discover a back hoe and a bulldozer, just moving crap around. Knocking down trees. Knocking down buildings. Moving that crap around some. It’s like a kid playing with their food. None of it ever goes away, just to a different part of the plate. I cannot wait for it to be over and done with.

In the meantime, Mr. Foxworthy if you’re reading, you might want to come to Tampa and take a look at this. It’s the stuff you dream about.

If you clean out your yard and find five bathtubs…one of which has your mother-in-law bathing in it…you might be a redneck…

-R

(3) comments

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Slingshoting Out of the Mesolithic Era 

Soon, at the office, we'll be getting out of the stone age! The call, "Hey, where'd we put the chisels?" shall no longer be heard!

The state of our office technology, as you've guessed by my last remark, is abyssmal. I am working on the Boss Man's personal laptop, he's working on his personal desktop, and if the Administrator and the Verger's computers crash 10 times a day, it's a good day. In order to print I have to email the Administrator the attached docs with a print request, and that's just annoying for the both of us. There is no WiFi at all, so parishioners cannot use personal laptops to access internet when here. Like I said, the Stone Age.

Well, no more! For the past months I've been working on the project of assessing our needs, finding a seller, and communicating to them what we need and in what price range. My Aunt works for a big hardware/software wholesale company who serves major institutions like NASA, ect. She turned me on to one of their top salesmen, with whom I've been working. Our major challenge was to get a site survey done with a WiFi Access Point to determine what kind of equipment was needed. That was accomplished last night, and favorably for us - we need less than we anticipated, which means dollars saved! Now, we're on to the easy part - getting the PCs and monitors. Our sales rep is checking the best prices for what we need, should get back to me within the week, and hopefully by the end of next week, we'll have computers!! Hooray!

Ok, ok, so not exactly what I think about when I think about priestly work, but the more I experience, the more I realize just how large an umbrella "priestly work" actually is.

-R

(0) comments

Monday, June 11, 2007


Back to the Mill 

After a week's rest on vacation in Chicago I am back in the office. My vacation split itself into two decidedly different portions, which I will aptly name "the First" and "the Second."

The first portion was somewhat discouraging with moments of brightness. I went back to my seminary for graduation and to see some friends. After a distinctly cold reception on the part of the institution - contrasting sharply with the warm greeting I received from the students and the Bible professors - I brushed the dust off my feet and didn't look back. Because the Commencement speaker was the Presiding Bishop, tickets were required for entry to the proceedings. Now, I made my plans to attend this event before I knew who the Homilist was going to be, so I knew nothing about tickets until about a week before when MacDaddy told me about them. I called the (newly-installed) Rector of St. Luke's - where Commencement is held - and she said, "Ryan, if they don't let you in, we'll put you in vestments and sit you up front!" Well, we didn't quite have to go that far, but I did need to say I was there as a guest of St. Luke's in order to get past the guards at the door.

The Girlfriend, who accompanied me on the First Part of the vacation, was not too impressed with the hospitality level and remarked, "Everyone up here is mean." I attempted a response like, "Well, I'm sure they're all just stressed out cause the PB is here..." but even that rang hollow with me after a while.

The PB gave a sermon. Unfortunately, that's about all I can say about it. It wasn't remarkable in any way, either positive or negative. It was a sound, if unadorned, graduation sermon. If I had not heard her speak eloquently and with great amounts of honesty, integrity, and realism the day before to a group of students (you know, those who paid tuition in the last 11 months), my estimation of her might have slipped.

I got no sense of awe or majesty from her that I guess I expected from meeting the Presiding Bishop, but I quickly decided that was a good thing. She struck me as just a regular person who happened to be the Presiding Bishop. Yes, a very good thing indeed. She answered questions with precision when she could and admitted difficulty when it occurred. In response to the query, "What's the hardest part of the job," she responded, "Somehow trying to deal with those who refuse to talk with you." Ay, that would be tough, and no doubt maddening.

A quick sailing trip on Lake Michigan with the Rector of St. Luke's, some friends, and The Girlfriend served as a remedy for the weekend. Sunday worship at St. Luke's was powerful for me. I was moved to tears by once again being able to hear the voices of the St. Luke's choir raised and by being in what, for me, amounts to a very holy place in which I consistently encounter God in a unique way.

The Girlfriend departed Sunday night back to Florida and I spent a restful remainder of the week at my good friends' Taylor and Kate's condo on the Southside. There was no schedule, no plans, and I loved it. I spent a goodly amount of time playing with their seven month old Weimaraner, Lily (who later in the week at my shoes, but oh well, they were old anyway) and relaxed on the couch reading my books. I saw some friends in the city, but not as many as I would have liked. Unfortunately, there was just not time for everything. We cooked, we laughed, we watched movies, and for a fleeting few days, it was like I never left. A wonderful quiescence in which I cleared the dust out of my head and soul and returned to the homefront recharged.

-R

(4) comments

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?