Wednesday, June 29, 2005
My eyes must get tired. Or they're allergic to eleven o' clock. The reason I say this is that for years, at or shortly after 11pm, I begin to weep. My eyes tear up and are very watery for several minutes. It's odd, I know. Sometimes it happens as I go to bed, sometimes just before. Tonight it happened just before. But tonight, there was a reason I was wracked with sobs - and I don't
say that hyperbolically as I am sometimes wont to do.
Tonight I watched the film Hotel Rwanda
. I believe this is a movie everyone should see at least once as it is, simply put, powerful. For those of you who don't know, the film details the life of one man and his family who run a hotel in Kigali, Rwanda in 1994, just before and during the genocide that took place there. A genocide which the world ignored. The acting is convincing; the scenes are horrifying; the story is too terrible to be true, but it is. There were three points in the film when I literally burst into tears. Sometimes in movies a tear will trickle down my face or my eye will well up, but never do I openly sob as I did tonight. I cannot endorse this film enough. If you have not seen it yet, get it. Sit down with a cold drink and some tissues, prepare yourself, and watch. As horrible as it is, we owe them at least to watch what they lived. Make it a family movie night. I'm serious. People need to see this. The reason we can let this go on, the reason we did let this go on is that we didn't believe it. We couldn't accept it. That's why we need to see it.
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
From time to time I post interesting stories about things I've seen or heard while on the CTA. Recently, I discovered the blog of someone who writes about that stuff exclusively. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the CTA Tattler
For my own contribution, I'll point out that while on the train this past weekend, I encountered a sharply dressed young couple, the lady of whom was carrying in her arms ar glass vase filled with water and two goldfish. I overheard them say to someone else it was the centerpiece at the party they had just attended and they had the red dot sticker on the bottom of their plate. I've heard of giving away the poinsettia at Christmas, but goldfish???
Enjoy the Tattler's tales, now linked to in my blogroll.
Monday, June 27, 2005
I feel as if there is much to post about, but at the same time, nothing I really want to post about. I've been fairly busy the last few days while at the same time, it's mostly been busy doing not much of anything. I finished Hyperion
and have begun The Fall of Hyperion
, which is just as good so far, but written in a very different style making it a bit odd as a sequel. I have managed to not break my hand so saith an x-ray, which is good, but as it still hurts from my bike fall a while back, seems to suggest something else is going on and it's not quite right. I can't lift with it like this, and I can't even do push-ups because that hurts it too much. I suppose I should be grateful I've not hurt myself like a friend has, who may have to have knee surgery, but still. I've started field-ed at St. Luke's
(they even put a nice little welcome thingy on the website for me) and I have an office, an extension, the whole nine yards. Now, I just need something to do there. I suppose as we all figure out just how I'm going to fit in there, that will come in time. And then there are the spontaneous things that pop up - for example, tomorrow I will be sub-Deaconing at a funeral of an old time St. Luke's person who passed away last night. I feel like some parishoners are very welcoming and accepting of me while others, expectedly, are still wondering who I am exactly and just what the heck I am doing there. One parishoner seems to like me and trust we well enough to tell me some troubling personal confidential information, so that makes me feel kinda good and I hope I can be of some help to him. Prayer always is helpful. I'm still striking out on the summer job search. So far, 5 applications out and not one word back. I seem to be striking out on the dating scene as well, mostly because I'm not a professional sports figure. I mean, I could draw up a card with a picture and everything with my batting average from this season and all my stats, but the words "Seminary League" at the top of the card don't cut the mustard apparently. The Braves are doing quite well for being as crippled as they are. In fact, if this streak keeps up, I'm not certain we should put our stars back in when they recover. Julio Franco, 46 yr old 1B, hit a Grand Slam tonight. Last week he homered twice in one game and stole a base. In another game he bunted for a single. Bobby Cox has been quoted for than once saying, "Nothing he does will surprise me." I'm in agreement. Jimmy Buffett is singing on my radio right now, "If we couldn't laugh we would all go insane." I am in agreement.
Friday, June 24, 2005
Today was a long awaited work day. Oh, somewhere round about February I decided me bedroom could stand to be rearranged. I was running out of bookshelf space (and so needed another one, which would have to go in the bedroom) and was getting bored with the current set-up. I investigated bookshelves - expensive! So, I held off - also because I was lazy and buried in school work. Well, a friend of mine I knew from Canterbury was moving out of his apartment into another one and needed to get rid of a bookshelf, so today, I went over to his old place, inspected what he had to offer and paid a very good price for a bookshelf that suited my specifications almost exactly. I've moved my bed and nightstand to make room for the shelf - this also necessitated removing some of my lovely wall decorations; don't know where I'll relocate them. But now, I have an excellent bookshelf which is now the home of all my seminary books
, all neatly organized and arranged by canonical area and within that, time period (people not taking GOEs will have no idea what that means, but basically they're arranged by subject and within subject by time, so on the Scripture studies shelf, Brueggemann's book on the Psalms comes after Fretheim's book on the Pentateuch, and on the history shelf, Cox's book on Pentecostals comes well after A New Eusebius
The work day, however, got a late start, as I slept in recovering from last night. I hung out with some friends (and new friends) to watch game 7 of the NBA finals at Duffy's. Leigh cashed in on her free beer party, so I figured it'd be a good idea to go, even if I only cared about the game because Tim Duncan was playing in it (NBA is not my sport). The multiple-venue evening turned into what I'll just describe as "An Ode to Bacchus" and chalk it up. It was fun though and everyone needs to cut loose once in a while,. or at least so saith MacDaddy.
Tonight I'll be following the Dude's example. I hope you can find some comfort in that, knowing I'm out there, taking her easy for all you sinners*. The Braves are finally on TV again, there's corn dogs to be had, and peanut butter fudge to finish off. But before I go to that, let me introduce you to a new blogger (ok, she's on LJ, but we'll forgive her that). Sarah is a long time friend of mine from high school days and we've made our fair share of memories over the years. Right now she is getting a Masters of Electrical Engineering at Vanderbilt, but I'll let her tell you more about that. Check her out here.
And welcome to blogaria, Sarah!
*For those of you not getting this reference, before you become offended, go watch The Big Lebowski
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
I Knew Them When...
You know how you read about those people that win the Lotto?
Last week in Florida, those people were my aunt and uncle.
Saturday, June 18, 2005
Lord, Save Me
Beal is not permitted to go to any more free beer parties.
And he owes Mitch some money and probably his life.
Right now he's convincing me he's the mayor of Chicago. Lucky for me I've convinced him I'm the President and I've told him to go to bed.
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Discovering Literary Connections
As I mentioned, I am working my way through (and am almost done with) the first in Dan Simmons' sci-fi quartet - Hyperion
. Though a lot of the places names and book titles sounded familiar to me, I couldn't quite place them in my memory. Then, the book started talking alot about the poet John Keats. In fact, there is a city in the book named Keats. So, today, I got down my Keats collection and began flipping through it. Of course! He wrote three poems that stood out to me immediately upon gazing over the contents: Hyperion (a fragment, in books 1, 2, and 3)
, Endymion: A Poetic Romance (in books 1, 2, 3, and 4)
, and The Fall of Hyperion: A Dream
. As far as Simmons' quartet is concerned, there's three of the book titles right off the bat. As I flipped through the book some more, I came across the poem Lamia (in parts 1 and 2)
. This peaked my interest as one of the characters in the book has as her last name, Lamia. After discovering that, I found one of my favorite Keats poems and re-read it, La Belle Dame sans Merci: A Ballad
. As I was reading it through, I saw in my notes that this poem may be about Keats lover, a woman named Fanny Brawne. Funny, cause the woman in the Simmons book whose last name is Lamia has as a first name, Brawne. (Incidentally, as I was re-reading that poem, I came to a line which I recognized has a far more blatantly erotic sense to it than my poetry professor ever let on.) So, it seems, Dan Simmons is fascinated with Keats. I started reading the poem fragment, Hyperion
, but I didn't find any immediate connections. I'll read on and see.
I also looked to see if all these words have any other meanings, other than the way in which Keats or Simmons has used them.Hyperion
is from Greek mythology and refers to a Titan
who is the son of Gaea
, and the father of Helios
. Following from that, it also refers to the 12th moon of Saturn.Endymion
, also from Greek mythology, refers to a legendarily handsome young man, loved by a woman named Selene
(moon), who preserved his youthful looks by an eternal sleep.Lamia
, the woman's last name and the title of one of the Keats poems, also comes from Greek mythology and refers to a singular monster, one who has the head and breasts of a human woman but the body of a serpent, who devours children and sucks the blood of men. It can also, more generically, refer to simply a female vampire.
I love it when I find out this kind of stuff!!!
This Post is Untitled
About a month ago or so, the following conversation took place between a friend and me.
G: "I can't wait for the new Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt movie to come out."
Ryan: "Why? What's it about?"
G: "Who cares!!"
So, tonight, Macdaddy and I went to see it. I was in the mood for a shoot 'em up, blow 'em up movie and well, frankly, it's rare when I'm not in the mood to see Angelina Jolie. But, I was surprised by the movie - it turned out to be a little bit better than I was expecting. I was anticipating coy jokes, lots of explosions, and some cool spy stuff, but there was also the slightest hint of real emotion that spiced the flick just right I thought. It didn't try to be too much, try to be something it wasn't. But it also didn't roll over and take its place alongside other large explosion movies. I thought the funniest part was the scene where the kid was wearing a "Fight Club" movie t-shirt while being interrogated by Brad Pitt.
This one comes in at an 7.0 on the Huddleston Explosion Quota Scale.
Beal arrives sometime tomorrow after I go to bed. I asked him if he knew what to do to make sure I woke up when he got here. He replied, "Pound on the door shouting something about crack?" I said, "No, that might get you a customer. Ring the bell."
My doorbell would be best suited for a large mansion, able to be heard throughout. Instead, it was installed on my lil one bedroom apartment. It shakes the walls when it goes off. Cookout at Seabury Thursday night. Ryan's Magical Free Beer Extravaganza at Duffy's on Friday night. Chicago Diocese Diaconate Ordinations on Saturday. Sunday sees me in an official capacity at St. Luke's for the first time. Millie probably coming by for a few days sometime in there or shortly thereafter. Big times coming up. Thank goodness. I won't be bored anymore.
Monday, June 13, 2005
One of them Quizzes
| You scored as Neo orthodox. You are neo-orthodox. You reject the human-centredness and scepticism of liberal theology, but neither do you go to the other extreme and make the Bible the central issue for faith. You believe that Christ is God's most important revelation to humanity, and the Trinity is hugely important in your theology. The Bible is also important because it points us to the revelation of Christ. You are influenced by Karl Barth and P T Forsyth.|
What's your theological worldview?
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Porch Fishin' 2005
I've returned from the 1st Annual Porch Fishin' Reunion, v.2005. And I'm wondering why I came back. It was far too short a vacation, far too short a time with the best people in the whole world, far too short a time to catch up with everyone's lives, which seem to have diverged in the blink of an eye. Wasn't it yesterday Hudd and I were chasing each other through the Davis courtyard with water bottles shouting absurdly offensive insults between laughter? And I seem to recall it was last weekend that Sherriff, Fox, Hudd and I stole into the CS lab with a Gamecube and Robocop to watch the 80's classic on the big screen and then have the most furious bout of "Smash Bros." ever! Just a few days ago JD and I were on stage together in "A Midsummer Night's Dream". Wait a sec, when did all these girlfriends become wives?!! When the hell did we wake up and find ourselves separated by so many states? Reunions are good and bad. Good because it brings us all back together. Bad because it reminds us we are separated. No more will Hudd wake up at 3pm, stumble into my room, play video games for 2 hours before finally showering and then heading to dinner and blockbuster. No more will Mason and I meet right before lunch to stretch our physical limits in the gym. JD might still be building sets, but I won't be appearing on them anymore. Beal and I certainly won't be strapping on the boxing gloves again. Ting Ho and the Low Country Boil are far behind us, while the words "the crescent is our symbol...and the cross is our guide..." only reverberate through the halls of our memories and lodge somewhere deep in our hearts. A stranger might look at us now and see us becoming a medical doctor, two college professors, a priest, a high school teacher, and a computer scientist; husbands, fathers, leaders. A stranger might look at us now and see only these things, but I look at us and see the amazing journey, a journey forged by trial, cradled by Lambda Chi Alpha, and formed in love. On the way home, a Todd Agnew song came through the speakers with the chilling line, "...I don't know why I can't remain safe here where I always came to meet with you and you always met with me. You're still here waiting." God, help me to remember we're still on that journey and our paths aren't as far apart as they sometimes seem. And thanks for the 1st Annual Porch Fishin' Reunion. May there be a thousand more.
Thursday, June 09, 2005
T-Minus 1 Hour
In less than an hour, actually, I'll be headed for points South - Cashiers, NC to be exact. We've been planning this fraternal reunion for over a year now, and I've been looking forward to it fo soooooooo long! I intend on sitting up late playing cards and drinking beer, swapping stories with old friends. I intend on sitting on a porch without a shirt on telling inappropriate jokes. I intend on eating a breakfast worthy of a lumberjack. I intend on forgetting about Chicago for three days. I intend on returning full of stories, quotes, and a hoard of pictures. I intend on having a time to remember! Carolina - here I come! If you'd like to join us, too bad - sing James Taylor instead.
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
Apparently, I've Been Tagged
Some sort of a book list tagging game going around like a bad virus I guess. Well, here's my contribution:How Many Books Do You Own?
Too many to count. Definitely in the 500+ category.What is the Last Book You Bought?
The last order I made to Amazon contained two books: The Liturgy of the Hours in East and West
by: Robert F. Taft and The Divine Conspiracy
by: Dallas WillardWhat was the last book you read? (
I added this category)The Brothers Karamazov
- Fyodor DostoevskyName five books that mean a lot to you. The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings
- J.R.R. Tolkien (I'm counting that as one.)Ragman
- Walter WangerinFor Whom the Bell Tolls
- Ernest HemingwayCold Mountain
- Charles FrazierRedwall
- Brian Jacques
Now "tag" five individuals to provide their own lists. Umm... let's tag Beal
, the Archer
, and Carol
(if she still reads this page).
After what seems like an incredibly long time, I have finally turned the last page of The Brothers Karamazov
. It was very good, but very long and very dense, complete with a footnotes section that explained certain Russian idioms and cultural peculiarities, as well as gave all the Bible citations for the numerous biblical allusions. Now, I can check one more off my list of "Books to Read Before I Die". I do recommend this one to most of you - but only take it on if you feel like giving it your full attention for some time. There is a lot in there you don't want to miss, particularly in the way he uses language (hysterical at times!). I have to say though, the ending baffled me a bit. It seemed so sudden after all this build up, then BLAM, and it's over! And I have to wonder about Dostoevsky's choice to end it with the certain characters that he did. Does Alyosha represent his (Dostoevsky) hope for the world? And if so, what does that say about the church/holy orders given that Alyosha left them, at least temporarily. Zosima may be the key to understanding those questions, so I might have to go back and re-read the Elder's speeches. And what was the deal with Ivan going crazy? It seemed like to me he ran out of things for Ivan to do, so he thought, "why not have him go nuts and think he sees the Devil"? Or is Dostoevsky saying that is necesarily the end result of a life only of philosophy and cold rationalism? Or is that what I want to see in it? Ahh...so much to ponder.
While I continue to think about that, I'll be picking up something lighter for my vacation time. Dan Simmons' Hyperion
found its way to my hand from the shelf, so maybe I'll take that up this afternoon. Or perhaps this evening. At some point I need to pack, cause North Carolina, here I come baby!
2% Inspiration, 98% Perspiration
I spent the vast majority of today sweating. Summer has arrived to Chicago, which means that my apartment turns into something akin to a large sauna. You can bake a turkey just by setting it on the living room table. I took one cup of coffee this morning before deciding I couldn't handle anymore and sweat while reading a little of my book. I sweat over lunch and tried to cool down with some ice cold Capri Sun (which company, by the way, has done the greatest thing ever by introducing the "BIG Pouch" for us drinkers who need a bit more than 6.5 oz of refreshing beverage). Then I went to help my friend Jenni move out of the seminary. It was sad but fulfilling and I earned my sweat there. On the way back to my place I got the call from Frank
that his softball team needed an extra tonight, could I play? Having nothing more pressing to do, I of course agreed. Went 2 for 3 with 1B and 2B. It was pretty fun; I rode my bike to the field, played ball, and rode my bike back, so there again I earned my sweat. Then I showered and I began sweating while towleing off. That's just wrong. It reminded me of Boy Scout summer camp in South Florida, where it is impossible to get sweat off of you at any time, even while swimming. I sweat while cooking dinner and I sweat while eating it. I sweat while I watched a bit of the Actor's commentary on the Fellowship of the Ring
DVD. Then, I made myself a drink to try and cool off. One of the rewards for helping Jenni move was I inherited about half of her liquor collection; I've got stuff now I've never even tasted before, and some stuff I've never even heard of. I had to smell Creme de Cacao to figure out what exactly it was. So, I got out my trusty Bartender's Bible and looked up some fancy drinks that I could now make cause I have more odd liquors and liqueurs than I know what to do with (don't worry, I'll find a way to use 'em!). It was then that I came across the "Dirty Girl Scout". I must admit, I did actually read the entry because of the title, but it was the ingredients that made me decide to mix it up. 1 oz Bailey's, 1 oz Kahlua, 1 oz Vodka, 1 oz Creme de Menthe, shaken in a shaker full of ice and poured over ice. Three words - Liquid Thin Mint. It was so cooling and refreshing that I actually didn't sweat during the actual seconds when I was sipping it. It has a kind of revolting color to it, but other than that, it was pretty tasty. I may make it again sometime. Now, I've retreated to my bedroom sanctuary, which has an AC unit that is only powerful enough to cool down the bedroom, so I keep the door closed. It feels so good in here! I may just haveto breakdown and get an AC unit for the living room - today was simply miserable. I'm going on my NC trip starting this Thursday, so if I can make it till then, I may get one when I get back. Ok, now, to read!
P.S. There are two kinds of soreness. The first kind is the kind when you genuinely have injured yourself and you hurt. Or when you've got the flu and are sore all over. Same category. It sucks. Then there is the soreness that comes from good ole physical exertion - be it from exercise, sports, or manual labor. This is the good kind because you know you've done something positive, something constructive. I worked out yesterday, moved Jenni (which involved deadlifting a loader trailer), played softball, and rode my bike today. So, it is with a sick pleasure that I will melt into bed, probably groaning slightly, trying to get comfortable. Ok, maybe I'm crazy, but I like it!
Sunday, June 05, 2005
Lincoln Park Zoo - Best Sign Ever
Here is the sign I promised in my last posting. Go, dog, go!
My New Toy; A Full Day
Today was quite the full day, after I dragged my lazy butt out of bed 'round about 10:30am. I had some breakfast and a pot of Ceylon Waltz while doing a little reading. Then, I got dressed to ride and took my bike out for a spin along the lakeshore path that runs up through Northwestern and a little ways beyond. That was great amounts of fun!! Since I've gotten the bike, I've decided walking anywhere is really a slow way of doing things. While taking a sun break on a rock by the lake, some friends from the seminary passed me on their constitutional, so it was decided there would be a photo taken. I luckily returned home minuites before a monsoon struck the greater Evanston area. After it passed, I went down to the Lincoln Park Zoo with a friend who loves animals and we had fun there. A few pictures will be posted shortly. I had never been to the zook, but it was definitely on my list of things to do in Chicago while here. It struck me as odd to find this refuge of (semi-)wildlife smack dab in the middle of the big city. While there, we encountered what has to be the funniest sign I have ever seen. I snapped a shot of it and as soon as I get it uploaded, I'll share it here. It had us laughing for hours. We'd be doing something else and then just start laughing when we thought ot it again. After the zoo, we headed down to Millenium Park for the 21st Annual Gospel Music Festival. Picking up some subway sandwiches along the way, we ate while sitting in the grass and getting our praise on! TOwards the end of that it started to rain again, so we went back to her apartment for the last innings of the Braves game, just in time to see Julio Franco win the game for us. Now, I am tired and heading to bed so that I can be rested for tomorrow, another bittersweet day. It is the last Canterbury service of the year and several of the people with whom I am the closest there are graduating, so this is their last service. I will miss them next year, but they are all going on to some pretty wonderful things. Good luck to y'all! And now, I'm to the bed.
Saturday, June 04, 2005
With the close of (now) yesterday, my Mother and Father are the proud parents of three seniors. Brennan will be tearing up Bishop Verot this year on the mound, in religion class (with a lil' help from his big bro), and with the ladies as a senior in high school. Trevor, as a senior in college, will likely be making a bid to buy Stetson University, given all his hard-earned knowledge of investments and finances. And I, now officially a senior in graduate school at Seabury, will be doing what I can to ensure I leave the seminary with it smelling of incense more than when I arrived. It should also be mentioned that my cousin Sarah, who is taller than any cousin of mine humanly should be, is a senior of sorts, at the top of the totem pole in middle school, the 8th grade. This time next year will be insane indeed.
After the commencement festivities today, I drove a classmate and his family to the airport and then came back here for a brief rest before my bicycle called me. I got on and headed north along some side streets, off the main road (Chicago/Sheridan), just so I could get better acquainted with her. Before I knew I was running out of side streets and was darn close to school, so I braved Sheridan Rd. and head to the seminary, where I joined some friends for the tail end of their cookout and got to say some goodbyes. Then, I headed home before it got dark, and I decided I'd try Sheridan/Chicago all the way, which worked fine. Stoplights are a little interesting to negotiate as I've not yet mastered the art of putting my feet into the toe straps, so when I have to stop at the red light, I then have to get going again and slip my foot into the toe strap while in motion - difficult. But, I made it home intact. I'm still struggling with what to call her. As I mentioned to a friend earlier in the evening, modes of transportation are normally female in my tradition. (That tradition being how we all named our first cars in high school.) And the other rule is the first letter of the name has to be the same as the first letter of the model/make. So, I need a female "F" name. I've been tossing around "Fiona", but there is something about that which just doesn't quite fit. Any suggestions?
The next few weeks bring a lot to look forward to. Not the least of which is my long-awaited trip to North Carolina, where I, along with several of my fraternity brothers, will be gathering for a weekend of reunion and frivolity. I can hardly wait! Then, almost as soon as I get back, Beal will be arriving for a week. And sometime in there, or perhaps after, my good friend Millie is coming for a visit. Plus, I start Field-Ed at St. Luke's officially on the 19th. So, lots coming down the pike that is very exciting! Hooray summer!!! Tomorrow, if it doesn't rain, I'm going to the zoo. Hooray summer!!!!
Friday, June 03, 2005
Tomorrow morning is Commencement - that bittersweet day of the year when you never quite decide whether they are tears of joy or sadness. The Very Reverend Dr. Titus Presler
will be the homilist at the Eucharist, which will be held at St. Luke's as is the custom. I will be serving as a front sacristan, which means I'll be in charge of things like candles, bread, wine, lagging graduates, and such. So far this week, I've seen several old friends who graduated last year and have come back to witness this year's ceremonies and that has been good. I am more thrilled that you can imagine to see that the Ref
dresses the part of a rural Montana priest. Seeing him reminded me of my college chaplain, who also wore jeans, a black clerical, boots, and a cowboy hat. In the crowd at Community Eucharist tonight, I believe I also spotted EJ, but did not get a chance to say hello. Tomorrow will be fun, exhausting, joyous, and, like I said, bittersweet. Some folks that I have come to know and love very much will be going on to bigger and better things, living into the call that God has given them. I am so happy and proud of them, but I will miss them. And now, I better get to bed so I can get some rest. I have to get up early so I can get my cassock on (I believe I'll also wear my shoulder cape - when else do you get to wear cool stuff like that if not at big to-do's?) and walk down to the church. Parking is precious, and since I live so close, I think I'll avoid the rush and just not bother. Tonight, twenty-five or so folks go to bed my classmates, fellow apprentices if you will. When they go to bed tomorrow night they'll do so as journeymen. About six months down the road, they'll be invested as masters, which is really just another way of saying starting as apprentices all over again in a different circuit. Go with God on your journey. I see Susie has posted an appropriate song
and I'll leave you with as I seem to be rambling...
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
Ladies and gentlemen - you heard it here first!
Soon, you'll start seeing us around town together. Signed, dealed, and delivered. Click here for photo