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Monday, February 28, 2005


Facebook 

I recently gave in to some peer pressure and signed onto a thing called The Facebook, which is a networking website for people in and graduated from your college (and other colleges too, for that matter). I was kinda amazed at how many people I knew are on it, and how quickly I could find and reconnect with old, long lost friends. And to see pictures of them too! Kinda makes me feel good to say hi to some folks I haven't spoken to in years. It must be a fairly new website, because people my graduating year and older are pretty rare compared to folks who graduated after me, or are still in school. The only trouble with it is that it is a wonderful way to procrastinate...

-R

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Sunday, February 27, 2005


One of the Best Movies of the Year 

Well, given that it is only February, I guess I'll have to say that Diary of a Mad Black Woman is one of the best movies of the year so far. This movie was at the same time both hilarious and very serious, the accomplishment of a gifted writer. The acting was pretty top notch, with the exception of the charater of Orlando, which was mediocre. But, I'll say that that character was the flattest of them all - a pretty stock, new boyfriend after a big break-up character. All the other characters had tons of backstory to them that left you wondering and wanting more. The movie had a good moral message too, and one that was complicated by all the ins and outs of reality. In other words, it was not blase. I highly recommend this film; expect to be both entertained and warmed. Laugh and cry out loud.

There was one thing which put a bit of a cloud over the evening though. As we came out of the theater, I noticed something unusual. I have seen a lot of movies in this theater, at all times of the day and night. Never have I seen this many uniformed police officers there before, just casually milling about. Now, we all know that correlation does not equal causation...but still you gotta wonder, as Jeff said, what that police memo said.

-R

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Saturday, February 26, 2005


Xenosaga 

It's been a long while since I actually completed a PS2 RPG; I think Final Fantasy IX was the last one I conquered. Tonight I finaly mastered one I'd been working on for a while, "Xenosaga, Episode I: Der Wille Zur Macht". I played it a lot last year, enthralled by it's excellent story and heavy theological undertones. Then, I got tired of it after a while (60 hour plus games take a lot of will to beat...) and concentrated on other things to pass the time, CPE being chief among them. Well, recently, "Xenosaga, Episode II" has been released, compelling me to finish the first one. So, tonight, I sat down to advance in that goal. I loaded it up from where I saved it last and proceed...straight to the final boss battle. So, almost 6 months ago, I saved the game and put it down for the past six months, and just, I mean just before the final battle of the game!!! How silly is that!? So, I beat the final boss tonight, conquered the game, refreshed my memory enough on the plot line to prepare for Episode II. When I'll get it I have no idea, but at least I can feel justified in getting it now that I've conquered the first one. Honestly, this game has the best story line of any RPG since Final Fantasy II. I'm excited...

-R

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Friday, February 25, 2005


Already Obsolete 

Like the once awe-inspiring TI-82, I'm already obsolete. As a bank teller that is. With my bank telling experience but a few short years behind me, I am a little surprised and somewhat saddened. My current bank just opened up a new branch office much closer to my apartment, so that is pretty cool. I went in there today to cash a few checks. I always carefully watch what the teller does and try to remember what it was like when I did it, so that if it is not fast enough for my tastes or they goof up, I can empathize rather than get upset. Well, he ran the checks and then just stood there. I was wondering when he was going to open his drawer and count out the sheer wads of cash that I would be receiving. (Well, more pittance than wads, but whatever.) But no, he just stood there. Then I heard a faint whirring sound and out of a gray machine at waist level to his right popped my cash, and exact change, broken down as I had asked him. Amazing. All my speed at cashing checks (I am fondly remembering the races Lynnetta and Wendy and I would have each business day, especially when we worked the drive-thru, to see who could complete the most transactions), all my facility at balancing my drawer (I balanced every day, with one or two exceptions), all my confidence built up in explaining things to customers, counting out correct change, sorting cash into piles, and all of that - obsolete, just like that! Wam! It's gone! I sure do hope this new fangled machine has built into it a recorded voice which, in response to the verbal cue, "Give my all your money," automatically says, "To Hell with you!"

-R

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Wednesday, February 23, 2005


Gym Etiquette 

When you are at the gym, and you want to workout on a machine that someone else is currently using, it is considered proper to wait until they finish their set and then to ask them, "How many more sets do you have?" This accomplishes two things: one, it politely lets them know you are waiting and should clue them into asking you if you'd like to work in with them, and two, lets you know that if they only have one more set to do, it likely won't kill you to wait on them. You should not perch over the machine or the person as they do their workout. You should not automatically jump in if they get off between their sets. You should not pace in front of the machine or any silly such thing. Yes, folks, even at the gym, it pays to be polite. The following account is a wonderful counterexample that happened to me today. I was working out with a friend on the hamstring curl machine and he was currently on the machine. We had both done two of our three sets and he was in the middle of his third. An overweight woman approaches who appears to be in her late fifties, early sixties and she looms over the machine and stands so close to me that it sets my personal comfort zone buzzers off.

Ryan: (Looking at woman) We just have one more set each...
Woman: (Interrupting) Well then can I rotate in with you, because you both have been over here doing well over three sets a piece and you're taking too long.
Ryan: (Irritated at her tone) Yes, ma'am. You know, all you have to do is ask.
Woman: (Clearly irritated) I am asking. Don't you know that doing more than two sets of any given exercise is a waste of time?
Ryan: (Flabbergasted) Not really. Different people's bodies are built differently and different kinds of exercising accomplish different goals.
Woman: That's not true. If you read any of the books on the subject, you'll see that more than two sets of any exercise at a time is worthless.
Ryan: (Incredulous) Ok, ma'am...
Woman: (Patting Ryan on the shoulder) You keep believing that, you'll be fine.

This is not a good example on how to behave at the gym. Or anywhere. And when it comes to something like working out, I'll trust someone's advice who actually has worked out for a while over someone whose only exercise in recent memory was flipping the page of the newest fitness guru's book du jour.

-R

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Tuesday, February 22, 2005


Courtesy of Susie 

"If you read this, even if I don't speak to you often, you must post a memory of me. It can be anything you want, it can be good or bad, just so long as it happened.Then post this to your journal/blog. See what people remember about you.

Then post this to your journal/blog. See what people remember about you."

(From Susie)

-R

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Revolted 

For the first time in my entire life I have disrespected a book and its author by slapping it and throwing it across the room. I am feeling revolted, actually physically revolted, after reading two of the assigned chapters in Jean Bethke Elshtain's book entitled Just War Against Terror: The Burden of American Power in a Violent World. I am sincerely hoping this text is going to be used as a counter example in class. Sincerely hoping. She misuses her quotes and examples to carefully lead readers away from interpretations she fears. She only goes so far in analyzing particular situations; far enough to support the point she wants to make, but stops short of what would provide a radical counterexample to what she is trying to say. She piles up truths and solid evidence, but then arrives at what sometimes is a ludicrous conclusion. She is extremely nuanced in presenting her own viewpoint, but when presenting dissenters' viewpoints she gets black and white. I could go on, but I'm not going to give the book that much air time. If you want to see what I'm talking about, PLEASE check it out of a library. DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK. Or you can have my copy once this term is over. I've never thrown a book before and I'm somewhat ashamed that I did. But I can't go back to reading that book right now. It makes me too sad.

-R

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Monday, February 21, 2005


Reading Week Begins 

And, as is fitting, I've finished my first book of the week. Oh no, it was not a school book, but the pleasure book I'd been reading, The Devil in the White City. Historian Erik Larson has pulled together massive amounts of research in coorespondence, newspapers, memos, lists, journals, diaries and just about every other form of written communication available at the turn of the century (19th-20th) to put together the tale of two men whose lives were changed forever in 1893. With splendid prose and page-turning events it is easy to see how many might confuse this story of the 1893 Colombian Exposition in Chicago (World's Fair) for fiction, but it is not. I found I learned a tremendous amount about the origins of much of Americana by reading this book. Daniel Burnham was the man whose genius brought the fair to life and Dr. H.H. Holmes was the madman whose cunning and evil ended the lives of at least 12 innocents, including three children. In these pages, these real characters speak to us from beyond the grave (maybe that's a bit melodramatic, but it's a fun turn of phrase) relaying their tale. I would recommend this book highly to anyone interested in Gilded Age American history, true crime stories as good as anything Thomas Harris has imagined, or Chicago history.

The next book I grabbed off my shelf is by a man who has become a favorite author of mine, Neal Stephenson. This time, it's The Diamond Age: Or a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer. I'm not real sure what all it is about just yet, but so far the writing is up to par with Stephenson's other works and the characters just as lively. One of my favorite things about the way he writes is his wry humor inserted almost casually here and there throughout. The way he says things sometimes has the ability to make me chuckle out loud. Not a full-bellied laugh, but an appreciative chortle for his craftsmanship. To those of you looking for a good read that is fun and imaginative, I would recommend Stephenson to you. (I started with Snow Crash and it was a good introduction. Some of his longer works might turn some people off, but then again, if you feel up to the challenge...)

In other, more academic news, I began research today for two papers coming up. My second New Testament II probe will be on just who in the heck this Melchizedek character is in the letter to the Hebrews. He only appears at two other points in the whole Bible, first in Genesis 14 and second in Psalm 110. Much is made of him in Hebrews however; the author of the missal seems to be making a creative power play when he likens Christ to him rather than the Levitical/priestly tribe. Much more than that I cannot yet say, other than, by drawing on my Hebrew studies, I can tell you his name means something along the lines of "my king is righteousness", or "my righteous king". For my second Ethics II paper, I think I have finally settled on looking at Christian Ethical in the debate surrounding pre-marital sexual relations. How I'll narrow that down is another question altogether (define marriage, between whom, define singleness, etc.). I'll need to try and get a balance in the variety of sources because many have written solidly in support of the myraid sides to the argument. Where I'll come down is also still up in the air.

That's about all for tonight.

-R

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Sunday, February 20, 2005


1 and 1 

Wake and Duke both won at home, so I can't make too many complaints. Both teams played hard tonight (a little too hard at times), but Duke came up with the win, 102 - 92. Not all was lost, though, as the chili and the cornbread I cooked went over real well with my friends. It was mighty tasty, I must say. Even the Duke family (and Pippa, but she doesn't have a blog to link to) that came over deigned to dine with us Deacons and though they won bragging rights over the game, at least they were well fed.

Sarak K called we both before and after the game to say good luck and well played. I hope we can both look forward to some most excellent post-season play.

Our next game is apparently against a team called Longwood. We've no idea who they are. Most of us took some speculative guesses though: a prison team, a high school women's volleyball team, a suburbian church basketball All-Star (Saint?) team, and so on. We got some less notable players warmed up for that game by giving them some playing time at the end of tonights game. Feather? Joyce? Who are these guys? We thought maybe they were some Duke fans who suited up to confues us at the end. Whoever they are, I guess they'll be stars next week.

A good time was had by all, in the end, so for that, I am thankful.

-R

P.S. Sorry, Blog, for neglecting you recently. I'll try to correct that...

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Thursday, February 17, 2005


Odds and Ends 

I'm taking a small mind-break into the English language from my Hebrew homework tonight and I figured I'd do it by posting a few odds and ends.

There was a prayer this morning before Ethics class that beseeched God (it's Rite I week) to deliver us from racism, in summary. But there was one line which really grabbed my attention, "...and from all suspicion." That's the real thing for me, I think. I don't actively hate. I don't actively oppress. But that suspicion piece really manifests itself good sometimes. So, it is a good thing for which we should beseech God's deliverence.

I'm reading, as I mentioned a while ago, a history of the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago entitled The Devil in the White City. Some of my favorite parts of this book are the lists which the author reproduces in the text; these can be lists of any kinds - menus, lists of names or places, etc. In the case I want to share with you, it is a list from the fair's hospital about some of the various kinds of ailments they treated and in what quantity. The second to last entry humored me. What circumstances have to be manifest to earn the adjective they use and what was their treatment?

820 cases of diarrhea;
154, constipation;
21, hemorrhoids;
434, indigestion;
365, foreign bodies in the eyes;
364, severe headaches;
594 episodes of fainting, syncope, and exhaustion;
1 case of extreme flatulence;
and 169 involving teeth that hurt like hell.
The last entry is also amusing in its medical precision.

Next week is reading week. Thank God.

-R

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Wednesday, February 16, 2005


Practical Ethics 

At what point does my neighbor's right to have sex impinge on my right to a full and uninterrupted night's sleep? There's gotta be a guideline for this...

-R

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Tuesday, February 15, 2005


An Interesting Disputatio 

-or- A Humbling Experience for Ryan

In today's Ethics II class a partner and I participated in a disputatio against two other classmates. A disputatio is a form of debate on a theological (or in this case, Christian moral) topic. My partner and I drew the short end of the stick and had to argue, from a Christian perspective, that it is a bad idea for a Christian employer to pay their employees a just wage. I suppose there is some poetic justice in it because one of my opponents also opposed me last year in the Arian Disputatio - he was the Arian.

Anyway, it was a tough argument to make. The force of our argument drew heavily on economic theory and principles and focused less on moral theology and Scripture - quite frankly, because 99% of it is against our case. We tried to posit a theory of just income over against a just wage which would utilize market forces rather than flout them. The trouble is, if you carry the argument far enough, economically speaking, it breaks down. But then, so does the economic arguments for a just wage. It is safe to say that given our time constraints we could not go into heavy economic arguments, nor would we either have the knowledge or desire to do so. The decision will be rendered on Thursday and I've no doubt that it will fall against us. However, I do believe that given our task, we did a good job making our case, even if we didn't believe a word of it. I had fun with it though and cranked up the drama a notch or seven, but then, by now, my classmates have come to expect that from me. I couldn;t take quite as many pot-shots in this one as I did when I argued against the Arian heretics, but I did manage to sneak in the phrase "anti-Keynesian idealism".

-R

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Monday, February 14, 2005


Avoiding the Stress 

This year for Valentine's Day, a holiday I really just don't care for at all, I decided I would try a new strategy to avoid the stress.

I decided I'd ask a girl out on a date on Valentine's Day for the upcoming weekend.

-R

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Quips 

It seems that the Duke Blue Devils have developed a serious allergy to turtle.

If professors require that silly little homework assignments be typed, they need to say so in the instructions.

In general, people should say what they mean and mean what they say.

Who is he. He is she. Dog is fish.

Tomorrow is S.A.D. - as someone tonight put it - Single's Awareness Day. I'll be having a fine Scotch.

Next week's WFU/Duke game is on Sunday, not Saturday as I had thought. I'm having my annual party for that event. That means I will not be able to use the awesome free tickets I got to Sunday's Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Anyone want a free pair of tix? First floor seats, face value $69/ticket. First come first serve.

-R

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Sunday, February 13, 2005


Retribution 

(n.) - an act of revenge.

You knew the Deacs were going to come out and play hard today against FSU, after shamefully losing the last game against them several weeks ago. You just knew it. There was little doubt in my mind that we were going to win. But, 87-48!!! Good grief! That's not just a win, that's a spanking! Justin picked up 20 pts., Williams had 15 pts. and made career high with 14 rebounds. Taron hit six three-pointers in a row and both Trent and Chris Ellis rose above the 'Noles and slam dunked it! Chris Paul had a bit of an off game, only scoring 8, but when our otehr team members are playing at the top of their game like today, boy, that's just not a huge problem.

We'll travel to my home state on Tuesday to take on the 'Canes (routing them as they did us in football I hope) before walking into dreaded Cameron. In the past three years, we've traded blow for blow with the Devils, both teams winning at home. This year Duke has really stepped it up on what most at first thought to be limited personnel, but they are in the running like so many other years. Sure, we won a hard fought victory against them a few weeks ago at the Joel, but playing in Cameron is another story altogether. I'm confident that it will be a great game and I'd like to be just as confident that we'll walk away with another win against our rival, but I just can't say for sure. Everyone will be needed at their A game.

-R

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Thursday, February 10, 2005


Compline Tonight 

Glory be the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost; as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

I was overwhelmed tonight by the positive responses I got from the Breviary Compline service we did. There were more people in attendance than I expected, and more people said they really liked it than I would have guessed. This is wonderful! One even tried to sneak off with an ordo! Many even stuck around after the surface to discuss the service and what they liked or maybe didn't like about it. The discussion branched into wondering about the Oxford Movement and then to some of their feelings that it would be nice if we experienced more Anglo-Catholic liturgy at Seabury. Needless to say, I am excited and the praise be to God. One person said they found the service to be a bit too Roman for them, and that is absolutely a fair critique. Frankly, I expected more of that kind of comment than the positive ones I did receive. Some comments about the officiating for me to keep in mind next week included a need for me to slow down. Nervousness about how the service was going to go probably induced me to speed up, but next week that shouldn't be a problem. Then, after that week, anyone can officiate it that would like to get the experience. Needless to say, I am excited about what God is doing here.

-R

[Later: I should add, I realized, that parts of the service seem "too Roman" for me as well. I struggle with the Ave Maria, the Marian Antiphons, and part of the Sacrsanctae. But, I'm exploring this particular devotional material, so I should do it all. We'll see where it leads, as I've said.]

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Catching Up With Myself 

It seems, if I step away from myself to get a third person perspective, that my physical presence is way ahead of where my soul feels. However, what I am told, is that for a 2nd term Middler Episcopal Seminarian, that this crucible is normal. I'm glad my compatriots once felt as I did, but that doesn't relieve my feelings very much. Oh well, I'm taking a deep breath, and will spend a few moments here catching up with myself and everything thats been going on with me recently in no particular order.

Concert last night, class scheduling, candidacy, Hebrew midterm, Compline, and important news events that I'm concerned about.

The Idan Raichel Project concert was simply amazing! I am really glad I went, even though it couldn't have fallen at a worse time. They are an Ethiopian-Israeli band that my friend Sam worked on getting here to Chicago as a part of their U.S. tour; their music is kind of a ambient-fusion style that might be best described to an American as a mix of Ben Harper and U2, with maybe a little Enya thrown in. It was so soul-filled (trying to avoid the musical connotation of "soulful"), moving, fun, joyful yet haunting. We had great seats, second row, courtesy of Sam's maneuvering AND we got to hang out with the band afterwards!! They were really cool and seemed really happy to talk to us. This was their 10th stop on a 19 stop tour. I was ecstatic to be able to buy their CD and then have Idan and one of the female singers (I only know Idan's name) to autograph my album. In English it is called "Out of the Depths". All in all, the whole experience made me really really really itchy to go back to Israel...

I had a meeting today with my academic advisor to discuss classes for the Spring term and a general outlook for the rest of my time here at Seabury. I used to think 3 years here was a long time....HA! Now, it's not near enough to learn everything I want to learn! Anyway, it was a good meeting and I have a pretty good grasp on what I need to do from the academic side of things.

Candidacy is another story. This is the part of the process associated with people on ordination track that is pretty crucial. At some point in the near future, I need to go home and be interviewed by my Commission on Ministry and have them recommend me to the Bishop, who has to make me a candidate. I must be a candidate for one year at least before I can be ordained to the transitional diaconate, and must be a deacon for six months at least before I can be ordained to the priesthood. I emailed my mentor on the COM and she told me to take a deep breath, relax, that all would take place as it is suppossed to, so that was a relief.

My Hebrew midterm is tomorrow morning and at first I started freaking out about it because in my mind, I normally associate "midterm/final exams" with "time to freak out". Then I began studying for it and I realized, with the exception of a few fine points, I KNOW THIS STUFF! That is so awesome to me; 6 weeks ago I was looking at the Hebrew language mystified and doubtful I would ever be able to get as far as I have. Now, I take for granted in my head concepts that I used to struggle with. I suspect, and my professor agrees, that trend will continue. Hebrew II will give me the tools I need to translate most texts in the Bible and there is a course offered at Garrett (U. Methodist seminary across the street) for next Fall called Intermediate Hebrew, which will bolster my ability to read aloud and translate with greater facility. I look forward to that class too!

The Compline Ordinary according to the Anglican Breviary that I've been talking about will be prayed by the community for the first time tonight. I really hope it goes well and that people come!

In the news, in case you missed it - THERE IS OFFICIAL PEACE IN PALESTINE/ISRAEL!!!!!!!!! Ariel Sharon and Mahmoud Abbas, in Egypt, reached an agreement that has brought an official end to over 4 years of violence and military aggression. The Second Intifada is officially over. I say officially because Hamas has declared that they are not a party to this agreement, which is not good because it means they will still execute attacks. But, Sharon has agreed to totally pull out of Gaza and the West Bank cities being occupied, and release many prisoners of war. Further he has promised not to make incursions into those places anymore. Abbas has succeeded in reigning in many and has made some significant, though controversial, personel changes in his staff and Authority. The fact that Egypt played host to this meeting is not historically insignificant either, quite the contrary by far, but that's a subject for another time. Bush has agreed to meet with both Sharon and Abbas at separate meetings at the White House; this is significant because Bush would not deal with Arafat in previous years (for reasons that bother me, but again, that's for another time, or maybe a time now past). For now however, we have an opportunity to give a sign of relief and great praise to God. Jerusalem is a city that is built at unity with itself...peace be within your walls and security within your towers! Praise be to God that this has come to pass, if only in a beginning stage. May it remain.

-R


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Wednesday, February 09, 2005


On Observing a Holy Lent 

Is this a Fast, to keep
The Larder lean?
And clean
From fat of Veals and Sheep?

Is it to quit the dish
Of Flesh, yet still
To Fill
The platter high with Fish?

Is it to fast an hour
Or rag'd to go,
Or show
A downcast look, and sour?

No; 'tis a Fast, to dole
Thy sheaf of wheat
And meat
Unto the hungry soul.

It is to fast from strife,
From old debate
And hate;
To circumcise thy life.

To show a heart grief-rent;
To starve thy sin,
Not Bin;
And that's to keep thy Lent.

~Robert Herrick

-R


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Tuesday, February 08, 2005


Pertinent Quote 

"You try to talk to women to build something concrete upon which you can build a relationship, but the bottom falls out from under you and you have a whole host of other issues to deal with." ~BrotherBeal, 4/14/02

-R

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Monday, February 07, 2005


Good Food, Good Times 

This weekend was marked for me by excellent food combined with excellent company. I'm not sure if I've written on how I feel about eating together before or not (may have mentioned it once), but to eat with a friend is really important to me. It is one of the most basic things we can do, and (my college chaplain would be proud to hear me say this) breaking bread with friends calls to mind for me the institution of the Eucharist. Jesus sat down with his buddies and ate dinner. Now, as Gorman might say, much ink has been spilled on the broader theological significance of that act, and rightly so. It's extremely important. Yet, there is something fundamental about it, something so beautifully simple, that has always compelled me. And so, when I eat with friends, it means more to me than most know.

Friday night I dined in Lincoln Park with a friend who was generous enough to cook for me. A wonderful meal was had and a rare feat accomplished - she made salmon taste good. Bread was broken (really and truly), wine was drunk, and a funny movie was seen. Simple times that make me smile and feel good.

Saturday night I had a great surprise. Early Friday morning my Uncle Jack called me and said he was here for his annual Sailboat Show and would love to get together with me for dinner sometime. I called him back and we decided on Saturday night. He asked me to pick the restaurant, which put me in a bit of a tight spot. Jack, you see, is an extreme connoisseur of both food and wine and so I wanted to pick a nice restaurant that was not a chain of any kind, unique to Chicago with a great ambiance. The trouble is those types of restaurants also tend to be pricy and I didn't want to seem presumptous. In the end, I decided on Bistro 110 in Watertower Park. It was delightful and not over-priced. He had a duck dish (sorry Mom), the French name of which I can't even begin to recall and I dined on Lamb Roubachon. He selected a tasty, if unusual bottle of wine for us to share and I picked out the after-dinner scotches. It was very, very good and a wonderful treat to see, chat, and catch up with him.

Then, tonight, I had a simple meal with friends from school while watching the Super Bowl. Not having any particular interest in who won, I just enjoyed the company and Kassinda's delicious homemade BBQ wings. I could not help but think what a different atmosphere it was from Super Bowl parties I've loved to be at in the past, namely the ones my fraternity threw. As much as I miss those of my friends now scattered across the Southeast, I was glad to be where I was tonight.

Now, it is to bed for me. Tomorrow I am taking the Compline ordo that I've created to be copied at Kinko's on a nice stock, in color. I want to do this right and also give people something they can take home with them at the end of Lent, if they so desire, that isn't going to easily fall apart or crinkle. Goodnight.

-R



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Saturday, February 05, 2005


Good News out of Israel 

This past week, there was very good news from Israel. The attorney general, Menachem Mazuz, put a stop to the land grab in E. Jerusalem. The history behind this is complicated, dating back to a 1968 law. Land that was "absenteed" by Palestinian residents of E. Jerusalem could, in effect, be taken over by the Israeli government. The law was enacted after the '67 war but never enforced, only held in reserve. Recently, the Sharon administration began enforcing the law, enraging residents. Mazuz came out and said that "since the property was not absentee property when the army entered East Jerusalem, and would not have turned into absentee property if East Jerusalem had continued to be part of Judea and Samaria, we did not see any justification for the annexation of Jerusalem resulting in taking away property from someone who was not actually absent." This is a smart decision on Mazuz's part, and a just ruling for which we can be thankful.

In an almost unrelated note, I found something odd on a website. (Follow me now, the only connecting idea is Israel.) I listen to Air1, a contemporary Christian online radio station. When I went to it today to provide me a soundtrack with which to fold my laundry, I saw an interesting link. It was called the "Wall of Prayer" and was a page on their site dedicated to praying for American troops in Iraq. Clicking on it, I was taken to the page that listed soldiers' names for whom you could pray. The graphic at the top of the page was what caught my attention. It is a picture of the Western Wall (Wailing Wall). The faces/heads of the people praying have all been blurred out though. I have to wonder if this is to be "stylistically cool", or because they couldn't deal with the fact that the graphic for an overtly Christian site would feature Jewish people praying? Ponderous...

-R

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Friday, February 04, 2005


Lenten Compline 

I have been much busier in the past two days that I really intended to be. I volunteered to do something that took more time than I thought it would, and then I had to learn Hebrew. (Well, not the whole language, but Lesson VII in the grammar anyway.)

Something has recently been on my heart and I've not known how to express it. As you, faithful reader, will know, I've recently been exploring and learning a lot about the Anglo-Catholic traditions of the Church. The more I've learned, the more I wanted to get steeped deeper in this beautiful expression of the faith. The more I've wanted to do that, and felt the need to do that, the more I've been aware that Seabury (check out the redesigned website!) does not provide this in our common worship life. So, I talked with several colleagues about it, and prayed about it as well. After doing that, an idea came to me the next day. For Lent last year, several Seabury students got together to say Compline late at night in the Chapel. I asked the organizer of this ministry if they would be offering that again this year and when he replied in the positive, I began to explain to him what I just mentioned to you. And then I told him my idea, which is based upon the principle of offering a more traditonal style of worship to complement the worship styles already employed effectively at our Chapel and to give us a fuller educational and formational experience. I volunteered to lead, one night per week in Lent, the Compline service from the Breviary that I've been learning and practicing recently. He thought it sounded like a great idea. So, I went home excited to put together an ordo befitting the style and tradition of the service. Whoops - bigger task than I imagined, given the rubrics that need to be included and what part of the service goes where. I worked all Tuesday night and only finished halfway. Tonight, I finished it up, and if I may say so myself, it looks good. It is my prayer that by offering this Compline service once per week during Lent, it will enkindle in others as well as myself a desire to learn and practice traditional styles more often. By no means should we replace what we already do, but only add to it. I think it would be of benefit to all who participated, and if done properly, I think more than imagine they would will find it interesting in the least and satisfying in the most. We'll see where this particular journey takes us.

-R

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Thursday, February 03, 2005


Coach K Who? 

WAKE 92
Duke 89

3 years in a row.

Enough said.

-R

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Wednesday, February 02, 2005


Annual Rivalry 

Tonight, the Wake Forest Demon Deacons take on the Duke Blue Devils in what should be a powerhouse game. More to come on the game later, as I'm headed down to Kate and Julia's to join all the other fans to watch. LET'S GO DEACONS!!!

-R

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