Well, That Was Unexpected

Real life is stranger than fiction...depending on which authors you read, of course.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Ghouly Julie

Happy Halloween everyone!

Well, in rare Halloween spirit, I actually have two costumes, and luckily, I also have pictures of them both. Also Melissa pointed out that I inadvertently created a comic book flip effect in my facebook album, so you could check that out. Anyway, for adult parties Charity and I are Samron and Lilo in 20 years. For you who have more quality lives than to read tabloids, that would be Lindsey Lohan and her girlfriend Samantha Ronson. I am Samron, please note the many details that go into making it the perfect outfit. For our church party and work party I was the evil queen from Snow White using my trusty 8 year old costume. Somehow I thought that the joke would not only be lost on people at work and church, but also that carrying around a bottle of vodka and a cigarette might not be church or work appropriate. Not that the evil queen is so much better. If you haven't watched Snow White recently I don't recommend you do so with a child. why? because the evil queen asks the Woodsman to cut out Snow White's heart and bring it back to her in a box. And instead he cuts out a pig heart and puts it in a box. Could we be a little more disturbing?

anyway, since we last spoke, I have been to Virginia Beach and Cincinnati and have a 3 week stretch at home before I go to Nashville for my fly or die training session, so please pray that i fly and not die. :)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I missed my chance to deface the elevator atrium on Sarah Palin's hotel room floor with professions of love for Barack Obama because I had to work.

So my brush with Sarah Palin is over. Yes, we did indeed stay in the same hotel on the same night. I was super bummed because I decided to recon her floor and was surprised that not only did the doors open at her floor, but there was no secret service in the little atrium--i went in the hall and saw the door for her staff office...and then saw secret service men walking my way. but the easy atrium entrance led me to believe that i could easily tape the message i had for her from my many facebook friends to the wall directly in front of where she would take the elevator. after work i was cobbling together said message (a sort of discombobulated thing that said "shout out to barack obama, you betcha, he's a maverick, wink wink, and hey, thanks for giving me an easy halloween costume idea") but then found out that she had already left! grrr. you don't get many chances to be federally immature, and i totally missed mine. because i was working. because of my career. i hate that by being a diligent worker i have played into the mccain/palin supposition that americans are the best, most creative, and hardest working people in the world. this is a complete lie, frankly, but i guess if palin's only foreign experience has been with russia, she has a case in her little world because americans sure as hell are better workers than russians, as we are typically not shitfaced until AFTER work. now i just have this stupid piece of paper. no one has even fingerprinted it. and I only actually got to see a bunch of secret service people. i was warned (not by secret service, but rather by my coworker Becky) not to wear brown as she flew away in her helicopter or she might mistake me for a caribou and shoot me on sight.

in other great hotel news, my room has a balcony that faces the ocean. today i did something very taiwanese and watched the sun rise. it's so fun to be on the east coast and see the sun rise whereas in my normal environ i see the sun set. and yes, for work i have to get up before sunrise. chew on it for a sec. out of necessity, of course, but still.

Last weekend I went to a small part of a Kay Arthur seminar at my mother's church.
And a few noteworthy things happened. First, mom's pastor, David Jeremiah, got up to introduce Kay saying that she is the best Bible teacher in the country and that he was happy that his church didn't believe in women pastors or she would have his job." An excellently offensive start--alienating any participants from, say, Presbyterian, Episcopal, or Methodist denominations, but whatever. At that point I called bullshit in my head, repeatedly, actually, kind of in the manner Kay would repeat her words later, like i couldnt get the word out of my head and couldnt move on with my mental processes until it was fully expressed. BULLSHIT! anyway, my mom and aunt both gave me sideways glances because i think they knew i was mentally vomiting on him. This is one of the great Christian challenges, trying to live with the fact that we do not all interpret the Bible the same, and that those things which don't directly deal with salvation are secondary.

On a lighter note, when the singer who was leading worship came up, she apparently had written her own songs, the first of which had lots of verses that said the same thing twice, like "God is the most loving God, no one loves you more than God" and "God is the most faithful friend, no friend is more faithful than God"...and this kept going and going until my mom and i burst into laughter both thinking of the same thing, which is the movie Mystery Men. In the movie Mystery Men they choose a new leader called the Sphinx who speaks like this "if you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail" and "He who questions training only trains himself at asking questions." So I was like "did the Sphinx secretly write these songs?" My poor aunt couldnt have known the sphinx reference and why my mom and i were laughing at perfectly harmless praise songs.

Kay Arthur's Biblical knowledge is exceptional and she was weaving a very compelling story before I had to leave to convene with my urban family. She is excellent at explaining a potentially cryptic passage by telling you exactly what customs were in Biblical times and the equivalent today and why it was so scandalous at the time. Anyway, one of the purposes of her lecture was to convey that she believed that God's glory and blessing have departed from the United States. I agreed with this, though I question whether the U.S. ever really had such a thing in the first place, and it really is impossible to say for sure since the US is never specifically mentioned in the Bible. I know this fact will specifically vex certain people who confuse patriotism with religion, but whatever. Actually, I had a question for some of you: What do you think of using the old testament to justify God's actions in present times? She was using a ton of OT references to describe why God's glory had left the US--like Amos 3:8 saying God makes alive and God kills and makes victory and defeat and whatnot. My mental argument to that is the tower of Siloam in Luke 13:4 andthe man born blind in John 9. What do you who know and care about such things have to say? Luckily I left before Kay started expounding on when and why God's glory have left us in specific political terms. I believe she thinks Bill Clinton is the devil because of his affair, which had to make me laugh because presidential affairs were a dime a dozen, it's just that transparency of the office wasn't the same as it was, say, when JFK was whoring himself out. Kay is 75 years old, so that explains some things. Kay has also clearly had some serious plastic surgery. I mean, wow. I hope I'm as mobile and active and mentally sharp as she is at 75, but maybe a little less artifical and more able to express emotion with my mouth. This was particularly noticeable when she kept a steady grin on her face when telling us about how her daughter had recently passed away. Eeek. She also kept saying words like 3 times before moving on--i couldn't tell if she had lost her train of thought or if her mouth was so frozen she was unable to pronounce the word she wanted correctly. Despite this she was still an impressive speaker. and i think that really says something.

Oh my gosh, this is a super depressing, priority check from cnn about bangladeshi children--beautiful photo essay.

in anti-world justice related news, the starbucks salted caramel hot chocolate is intensely delicious. wow wow wow. i want one every second.

p.s. i feel sort of bad, thought it was honest, about how loathsome I found The Shack because so many of my friends say they were really moved by it. i hope none of you take it personally. at a certain small group, one of my friends discussed their dislike for the book and another attendee said "yeah, well, when you write your first book, i'll hate it too" as if the shack attack were somehow personal. i am genuinely interested in what moved you about the book. i'm glad so many people are reading a book that raises so many discussion points about Christianity.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Reunion with Camlin! and ...the Shack, but not the love shack, the badly written Shack.

Okay, I'm back in black.

Had a FANTASTIC time with Campbell and Linda and Lamont. I love that we can get back together and be just as easy as if we had seen each other last week. Camlin is a hilarious couple to be around. We got to see the ORTV kids for yummy chinese lunch, and then Campbell chose to go to Medieval Times

for his birthday dinner, and until the end of october it is adults pay kids price, so we took advantage of that. yes, there was lots of eating of roasted chicken with our hands! wearing of paper crowns, cheering for our ultimately beheaded knight, and lots of embarrassed looks by linda who was as mortified to go to medieval times as if she found out the event would be videotaped and re-played on her high school gymnasium wall. you have to embrace your inner dork! i have some priceless photos. if i ever find the connection that links my camera to the computer, you shall see them too. this would require me being home long enough to search for said connection. but that won't be happening for at least the next two weeks when i will be in Virginia Beach and Cincinnati. oh glorious.

So my latest chill obsession is the free Pray As You Go Podcast which is put out by Jesuits in England--I presume, since everyone has English accents. Anyway, my daily devotional life is variously full of monks chanting, rad accents reading le Bible, and gentle, prodding spiritual questions. you can download this conduit of quiet contentment on itunes.

am reading The Shack. am alternately horrified by the terrible quality of the writing and intrigued by certain theological premises--mainly, how can you trust God or believe God is good after something unspeakable has happened to your child. the writer desperately needs an editor. Everytime he uses the word Papa, I want to vomit. The dialogue is so contrived I have sometimes have the urge to fling the book out of my hands in disgust. however, I can see how this could be a revolutionary book if you had very fixed images of how God should be. I have tried for a while to train myself against imagining God a certain way and have tried to let God be as big as possible, transcending any fixed human classifications of gender, race or age, when i pray or conceptualize, so that concept wasn't new, but i can see how it might expand ones mind if they hadnt. but the matrix had a black woman as God too, and more compelling. It's a fictional book, and the story is sort of compelling if poorly and sentimentally written. but i am at a part where he has transitioned into full blown theological dissertation which he puts forth more like a condescending theology class than a novel, issuing forth from the mouths of his characters. i find that nearly intolerable. am (very mildly) offended on multiple fronts, literary and spiritual. this is a way of avoiding real critique of your theological viewpoints by putting them in the form of fiction. "it's just a book, it's not real," but yet he tells it in a way that shows you he assumes you should think the same things and that if you havent you simply are not spiritually evolved enough to be at that place yet. hmm. i feel like i want to call eugene peterson and ask him what he was thinking when he so heartily endorsed this book. i'm perplexed by his comparison to pilgrims progress. anyway, i need to plough through, i hear there will be some surprises at the end, and like i said, i want to see how this dude reconciles victim and crime.

must end on a good note--one of the most wonderful stories in my vicariously lived life. My mom and Lauren went to the Fluevog store to get my mom's first pair of Fluevogs (mom was visiting little Lauren for a fun weekend.) And JOHN FLUEVOG himself was in the store and he signed my mom's shoes. and since they were also picking up a pair i had requested...he signed mine too! oh happiness. he also threw in some free adorable bags that will be great for grocery shopping and have some words about grooviness on them. anyway, i will also take a pic and upload it. and while ironic that i, who am celibate with fluevogs, have never seen john fluevog and my novice mom and sister got to see him, is not mattering. it was a great story, there was much squealing and excitement when they told me. and i have autographed fluevogs. so exciting.