Friday, June 07, 2002

Here's a poll question for the 5 of you who actually read this: What should I do this weekend? Feel free to "comment." Maybe you'll be able to think more clearly after perusing, a forum for the cosmetically disenfranchised. Maybe not.

The Sox have lost 8 of 9. The curse continues.

Enjoy some more bad poetry:

The sand gusts and blows,
bleakness as far as the inner eye can see.
Trackless, blank-faced terrain echoes
back, with empty, deafening silence.
No movement, no quickening of air disturbs
the surface of tedium.

I read in an Anne Lamott book that if you're stuck for something to write, then write about school lunches. I can’t ever remember having wrapped a lunch to school. No, that’s wrong. I remember way early on I did. Usually PBJ and some chips. And the trusty rectangular juice box. An anchor of the preschool day, let me tell you. My poor immigrant parents. They had no idea what to send me to school with, and like any oldest kid, I faced all the indignity of not conforming at school with a quiet, clueless stoicism. I was lucky to understand what people were saying, I think. But lunch was always the same. I think that is probably why I switched to buying lunches all the time later on. Just easier that way, and you don’t have to face the embarrassment of your unhip parents packing you something crazy for school. Every kid has had that perfectly square, unnaturally flat excuse for pizza, the Jell-o squares, and the mashed potatoes plopped onto the tray with an ice cream scoop. I remember getting excited when I first ran across cafeteria mashed potatoes. Man, those people fooled me good.

Back in early elementary, I remember taking bottles of apple juice to school. Except this was the baby food kind, with the Gerber label on the cover. Hmm. I don’t think anyone really gave me any guff about it, but I get a chill thinking about it now.

A real travesty of school embarrassment was when I got dressed for school in what apparently were girls’ jeans. What happened was that I saw a girl at school wearing the same pants I was, which were these pinstriped greenish pants (I know, it was the 80s). I think I came home nearly in tears, hiccupping accusations at my mom for dressing me up like a girl. My mother, rock of logic she is, pointed to the pants and pointed out that that label itself clearly indicated that the pants were made for boys. That notwithstanding, I refused to the wear the guilty pants ever again.

Songs stuck in my head: "Rez" by Underworld, "Movies" by Alien Ant Farm. I have this ever-lengthening list of things I want to buy as soon as I get a job, some new CDs among them.

Thursday, June 06, 2002

A venerable and respectful D-Day to all of you. Watch Saving Private Ryan today if you already haven't. I watched Vanilla Sky yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed it.

I almost forgot about the pleasure that is McSweeney's.

I have discovered my new insignificant thing to hate. I discovered while I was watching the lackluster Game 1 of the NBA Finals which pitched the Lakers against the Nets. The game was played at the Staples Center in LA, which employs a DJ for stirring the crowd to fever pitch during play, and to presumably provide tunes during the breaks. It's not a bad idea, except the DJ guy kept on urging the crowd to "make some noise" about every 45 seconds. And in the sing-songy "MAAAAYYYYKKKK SUUUMMM NNOOOYYEEEEZZZZ!!" shoutout voice hiphop MCs use. My brother quietly commented that he were at that game, he'd take his own life to make it stop. Between that, Bill Walton, and Jim Gray, NBC has a real winner of a broadcast.

“Perfection is overrated, mystery underestimated.”
I read that from Over the Rhine’s website, part of a little poem that Karen Bergquist wrote. The truth of which is proved every single day. The thing that always slips our grasp is that perfection is just as unattainable as mystery is easily understood. Perhaps the difference is that there are small perfections, such as counting to 3 correctly, whereas there are no “small mysteries," save those caused by ignorance. Then it’s not really a mystery, it’s simply not knowing. I get the sense that a mystery is something wholly unknowable, not something that can be dispelled by someone telling you the answer, cuz no one knows the answer. God is a mystery because He is wholly unknowable; there are parts of His character that we know about, because we see them in ourselves, but no one human harnasses the entire knowledge of God. Whereas paleobotany is not really a mystery; it’s certainly difficult, but studying can cure that ignorance. Perhaps it is too simplistic to couch these terms in the context of humanity; the human condition includes error as an intrinsic cog.

So why then does perfection mean so much to me? Or to so many others? Hard to say. It’s a finishing touch to the sense of achievement, or in determining whether something was a worthwhile experience. Few take joy in doing something poorly, that they take seriously. It makes you feel better about yourself. It’s a set standard that you can always measure yourself against, no matter what your competitors might do. Perfection never takes a day off. The ultimate goal in perfectionism is itself. But perfection is a state that mankind forsook a long time ago, back when Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s command in the Garden. Ever since then, our sinfulness leads us into error all the time. But God uses that to be closer to us. There is some virtue in doing things well, but there is more in being loving and in being patient.

You finding Ling-Ling's head?

Wednesday, June 05, 2002

Home Page Pregnancy Test
Some people have too much time on their hands.

Todd came over last night and we watched Carolina take a one game lead over the Redwings. We ordered up some pizza, and all of sudden Todd turned into this guy. Things got a little hazy after that.

It’s quite amazing what your mind can come up with when you’re just about to wake up. I’d just had some dreams, and then I was lying in bed thinking about dreams, then thinking back and recognizing certain parts of my day in the dream I just had, and thinking what a bizarre Rolodex of facts the mind can be. I imagine it being like a large room made up of those wooden cabinet cubby hole things for mail, like they have in hotels for room keys, except this is for different little snippets of facts, or sounds, or whatever. And YOU are the equivalent of the hotel manager, scurrying here and there, filing away all the sensory data as it pours in. Maybe dreaming is when the cubby holes get knocked over, and then all the information neatly stored away gets mixed up.

In my reverie, I began to think about The Matrix, which by now is cultural cliché. There is a part early on, when the audience is first introduced to Neo, and he talks about how he just experienced that strange disconnectedness of waking up, and not being able to tell the difference between reality and a dream. I’ve thought about some of the times I’ve remembered my dreams, and if that disconnection has ever happened to me. I dunno if it ever has. I do recall when I was little though, probably around 1st grade or so. I had this dream where I was in school, and there was this weird battle going on between two opposing sides of robots, or soldiers or something. I obviously watched too many cartoons when I was young. But it wasn’t this direct confrontation; one side was shooting, and we were shooting back, but we weren’t facing each other. The opposing side was right around the corner from us, we were backed into this dead end hallway. I remember thinking, oh man, what is gonna happen now? as the opposition came closer. But then, to my eyes, the walls of the school morphed into the walls of my bedroom, and it was the morning and time to wake up. And I had no bad flashbacks. I was obviously a happy child who watched too many cartoons.

Tuesday, June 04, 2002

This has to make you smile
Cuz if it doesn't, sumpin wrong witchoo.

One of the worst feelings in the world is having misplaced something in, say, your room, and knowing it’s in somewhere in there, but not being able to find it. You move the furniture, you knock over the stacks of paper, you look under the piles of clothes, but YOU CAN’T FIND IT. You swear it was RIGHT THERE, and now it’s magically disappeared, as if gnomes came out of the woodwork and blinded you with pixie dust. Or gnome dust. My physiological response when I get this desperate/frustrated is this feeling in my bladder like I really need to go to the bathroom in the worst way. It must be the adrenaline taking over, which gives me all this anxious nervy energy, and I get even more short-tempered and snappy than usual.

It’s how I feel about the job thing now. I’m fairly sure that God has THE JOB for me out there in the wide world, and I’m just not able to find it, for whatever reason. I’m getting to the point where I think it’s a character flaw on my part that I can’t find it (as is my mother).

I saw an old lady in a lavender ensemble mowing her lawn while driving to church today. It is one of those things surreal things that you run into and share with your friends the next day around the water cooler. It is the stuff that inspires whole chapters in the minds of those inclined to that sort of thing. It was about the middle of the afternoon, and part of the way to church is this quiet part of Libertyville. The houses are smaller, most of them one story ranch houses with one car garages. This elderly woman was mowing her lawn, not in grubby weekend work clothes, but in a nice purple blouse and a lavender skirt (yes, 2 shades of purple). The only concession to the blue-collar nature of her work were the garden gloves she had on as she wrestled the lawnmower in the right direction. It was a little weird, like something you'd see in a David Lynch film or a Simpsons episode.

Fire Bible
When was the last time your Sunday school class saw how "HOT" God's Word is?

Sunday, June 02, 2002

Happy Birthday to my favorite wahine, Shevawn.

The Corruption of Journalism in Wartime
We take too large of a trust in our news coverage, without enough investigating ourselves of the deliverer of the news. It's stuff I read about in Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business, a great read for you media-watching types.

Don't you ever see something cute and cuddly, and then just want to destroy it irrevocably? For those who say yes, a triumvirate of Pilsbury Doughboy abuse:

Farting Doughboy
Wil-E Coyote Doughboy
Puking Doughboy