Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Good news

Paulie's staying with the White Sox. And if that weren't enough...

The Bulls are winning. Although nobody expects a breakthrough year for them again, they are in the toughest division and holding their own. Although we lost to the Knicks tonight, both teams seem to be on the right paths recently, them with Larry Brown (if anybody can shape-up Curry, it's Brownie) and us with winning on the West Coast during Barnum & Bailey '05. I still want a good center in Chicago. AD, if you're listening...

Well, we still have (although for a different sport) Kreutz. So, maybe I spoke too hastily about the need for a good center in the city. Although, if I were to qualify that statement as, "a good center who doesn't knock-out other team members in firing ranges," we may still be looking. In other news, the Bears just keep winning. Although some are saying we're overhyped, trust me, Chicago fans are in need of a - and deserve a - little excitement XX years after Super Bowl XX.

We ain't here to cause no trouble. We're just here to do the Super Bowl Shuffle.

Cubs? Oh well, always next year.

Blackhawks may as well move south. Or north. East. West. To Siberia. I don't care. Can we make the Wolves our mainstay pro hockey team? Oh, they already are?

On a less global level, my church finally replaced me (well, in a good way) and I have more time to concentrate on my new teaching job.

We actually have some time in the day, now that the kids have started gym classes, to get some work and preperation done.

And, Starfish Studios, a not-for-profit filmmaking company that I've volunteered for (and would like to again) that works alongside urban children and youth is having a great year. (Although, I'm sure Vision Nehemiah would appreciate your prayers.)

To all: Peace.

that small

The art of
Magic is hard
to write about;
you experience it
as you fall under
its spell
The smell of
Basil commands
you view around
a blind-taste brilliance;

bulbs wince, they've seen the sun, they're
that small

Monday, November 28, 2005

Johnny Tag - No freezes.

If I had known he wanted to be tagged earlier, I would've done it myself. But, he waits for this li'l gem to come his way. Micah, for you:

Here's how you play this one:

1. Go into your archives.
2. Find your 23rd post.
3. Post the fifth sentence (or closest to it).
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
5. Tag five other people to do the same thing.

Easy enough, right?

In my first month of blogging, by the way, I did close to thirty posts (edit: contrast that with this month, where I barely had a dozen even after a last minute rush), and many of them long. The 23rd was the shortest:

The scary part is, I fit about half these descriptions.

Um... yeah.

The usual suspects are tagged: Christine, Adam, Alisa, Timi and Gabrielle. If you wanted to be tagged and were not, lo siento, I'm sorry. Maybe you can contact these fine people and they'll give you their tag - or, better yet, maybe they'll tag you. Jen can't be tagged 'cuz she's only got 10 posts (she's a newbie).

Sunday, November 27, 2005

I am a God-blessed man

Truly, surely, you jest.

(Yes, yes. I know, "Don't call me Shirley.")

But I am a man blessed by such, and as proof:

We went out yesterday.* For the whole day. She's leaving town in a couple days, and I've only got to see her once before and talk to her a couple times. So, yesterday was to be a special day.

*Sorry, if you know who she is, then I don't need to tell you. If you don't know, I'm at liberty to not tell you at this moment.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Great news!

1) Snow!

There's a post in there. I can just feel it. One of those long essay posts I used to do during the summer and I miss doing so much now.

2) One more obstacle down!

Now it's mostly just a matter of time. A lot of it. And the Spirit.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Arrested Development's development has been... well, you got the joke by now.

I already made the joke with the rap group, so I won't do that again (A game of horseshoes?). But I just Netflixed season 2 and am in the thick of watching it (between sleeping and ostensibly grading papers and reading a young adult lit novel). Hilariousity ensues.

My favorite joke is where the emotionally crippled and oedipal younger brother Buster (as an 11 year old) finds out that Rosa, the maid, accidentally let his parakeet out and, as revenge, raids what he believes to be her living area - yes, the kitchen. Later, he throws her favorite toy (the Dirt Devil) at her car (the city bus). That same episode ("Good Grief") has a running visual gag concerning the Vince Guaraldi Trio soundtrack to the Charlie Brown Christmas special and some low laying of the head, along with a special apparence by a large red doghouse and a poorly trained beagle, a spider-hole, an Anne Frank reference, and a mock burial where the only one sad was also trying to get with the bounty-hunter catering the event.

How could you not love this show?
Oh, and there's this little magic act intro/dance.

In the meantime, I found this nifty little AD spot, remniscent of (The Simpsons' fans' archive web site), only a little more current.

Oh, by the way, in case you didn't know why I wrote this, Arrested Development has been cancelled. Presumably to make room for better Fox fare, like Stacked and that show with Michael Rappaport that ruins Sunday evenings for countless King of the Hill and Simpsons fans who may want to watch Family Guy and don't care for the weeping shows on ABC.

We all Shine on!

In anticipation of Steve Taylor's movie coming out in early February, I'm attempting to post periodically on his accomplishments (such as bronze and gold medals in Olympic luging and Trans-American gas guzzling, and saving an ocassional baby from an ocassional fire) and lyrics. This time, we'll post on his most famous song, co-written with the Newsboys a few years ago and probably one of the weirdest- and pop-friendly - songs to hit the top of the CCM charts ever. But the kids got it. And so do I. It's Roaring Lambs in three minutes, set to the tune of "You Sexy Thing" and to the understanding of your common AcidHead, latter-era Beatles fan.

[no pics, sorry]

dull as dirt
you can't assert the kind of light
that might persuade
a strict dictator to retire
fire the army
teach the poor origami
the truth is in
the proof is when
you hear your heart
start asking, "What's my motivation?"

and try as you may, there isn't a way
to explain the kind of change
that would make an Eskimo renounce fur
that would make a vegetarian barbecue hamster
unless you can trace this about-face
to a certain sign...


out of the shaker and onto the plate
it isn't Karma
it sure ain't fate
that would make a Deadhead sell his van
that would make a schizophrenic turn in his crayons
Oprah freaks
and science seeks a rationale
that shall excuse
this strange behavior

when you let it shine
you will inspire
the kind of entire turnaround
that would make a bouncer take ballet
(even bouncers who aren't...happy)
but out of the glare
with nowhere to turn
you ain't gonna learn it on "What's My Line?"

Much love to

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Blue Streak

May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart
be pleasing to you,
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
Psalm 29:14

I've found myself repeating that verse to calm me down. I've been cursing quite a bit - albeit underneath my breath - this past school year. But I realize that that's not a good Christian testimony (1) and it's not good and healthy language, which is what my students need to hear (2, and probably more important).

I don't think that there is real justification for swearing. having said that, I'm coming to some horrible grips with myself. I'm finding myself swearing increasingly. More recently, I think it's been dying down, but honestly, the words of my mouth are not acceptable to my God, who is my Rock and my Redeemer.

Therefore, it shows that my thoughts aren't always pure either. Because that's what the mouth does, it eventually exposes what's in the heart.

And the heart is deceitful and wicked. Who can understand it? I certainly can't even comprehend my own heart.

But here's another reason why, as for Christians, it is a big deal to swear: it's language made of words. Jesus himself is described as The Word. Now, one can argue that it's different, that Jesus is the Logos, the answer to the (largely Greek) hypothetical and philosophical questions of life. Or that he is God revealed, or revealed God. But the simple fact of the matter is that God chose to reveal himself by actions AND words. And furthermore, that faith comes by hearing and hearing the Word of God. That God spoke...

So, words are sacred of their own right, for Jesus, by being the Word, made them sacred. For God, by speaking through words, made them sacred. For the Holy Spirit, by consistently using the Word to change and shape lives, makes them sacred. And as such they should be treated by those who worship a sacred God.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Send in the Clones!

I've been extremely emotional the last month. Mostly good emotions, though often very sad, very lost. But, I've been trying to keep this blog from turning into The Mangina Dialogues. Don't know how long that effort will last.

But, in the meantime, I've wanted to do a bit of a run-down on Steve Taylor, one of the most important artists in the formation of my little art-sensitive mind. Taylor was a Christian music recording artist that blew the walls within Christian music. He wrote intelligent (sometimes belligerent, sometimes sensitive) and incisive critical pop music for the times, calling to task social issues like abortion, abortion clinic bombings, the life-boat mentality (evaluation of individual's worth to society and therefore, life), the absence of objective truth, racism (esp. in a certain 'Christian' liberal arts college in the South), personal, familial and public consequences for actions, the weight of heroes, the church-afied people mentality, etc., etc.

I want to periodically print up some of Taylor's lyrics and/or writings. Some of them are from his solo material (most in the 80's), and some from group work (his mainstream but short-lived rock band Chagall Guevera and another pop CCM mainstay, the Newsboys). Today's will be one of the many of the church-afied variety of Steve Taylor song. From the EP of the same name:

I Want to Be a Clone

I'd gone through so much other stuff
that walking down the aisle was tough
but now I know it's not enough
I want to be a clone

I asked the Lord into my heart
they said that was the way to start
but now you've got to play the part
I want to be a clone

Be a clone and kiss conviction goodnight
cloneliness is next to Godliness, right?
I'm grateful that they show the way
'cause I could never know the way
to serve him on my own
I want to be a clone

They told me that I'd fall away
unless I followed what they say
who needs the Bible anyway?
I want to be a clone

Their language it was new to me
but Christianese got through to me
now I can speak it fluently
I want to be a clone


Send in the clones
Ah, I kind of wanted to tell my friends and people about it, you know
You're still a babe
you have to grow
give it twenty years or so
'cause if you want to be one of his
got to act like one of us


So now I see the whole design
my church is an assembly line
the parts are there
I'm feeling fine
I want to be a clone

I've learned enough to stay afloat
but not so much I rock the boat
I'm glad they shoved it down my throat
I want to be a clone

Everybody must get cloned

Thanks to for the lyrics and album cover art I just swiped.

Monday, November 07, 2005

I Puff-Daddy'd this first one from Looking Closer

First, I've raved plenty on Over the Rhine. My favorite mood music, honestly. If ever I get sad again (probably at 10:30 pm), Ohio and Drunkard's Prayer are the albums du jour (or is that duex jour? I don't speak-a any language so good!). So, I was fairly excited to hear that they're up for a Grammy nomination. The reason I say 'fairly excited' is because... well, it's the Grammys (c). And of course, it's some obscure little nook and cranny, like Best Folk/Acoustic Performance by a Non-Homosexual Duo or something like that.

I finally got around to getting LA Symphony's Disappear Hear. Nice. Thanks to the cats who kept me up-to-beat. I had heard all this good news about LA Symph and then bought The End Is Now, only to be let-down. This one, though, is a bit of a bouncy, danceable bumper from start-to-finish. Too bad the sound system in my church office consists of blown-out computer speakers.

Also finally getting around to watching the Firefly series on DVD. I still hold to the opinion that you didn't need to watch the series to view Serenity, but it'd help. By the way, rent the whole boat-load. Joss Whedon, space and cowboys! What more need I say?

And, what else has been going on?

Oh yeah! My secret friend has been upgraded to special friend. It's only a matter of time... (Lord, please, take care of those obstacles as only you can.)

Ok, so this is related to the top-secret date

I'm not one for romantic movies, but:

You had me at hello.

Psalm 23: (for context, read Psalm 22):
1 The LORD is my shepherd; I have everything I need.
2 He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams.
3 He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.
4 Even when I walk through the dark valley of death, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.
5 You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You welcome me as a guest, anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings.
6 Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the LORD forever.

Friday, November 04, 2005

I don't understand you all

It's almost kind of funny. Although my house was filled with boys (four younger brothers and many of our friends on any given day) my favorite people growing up were my mama and grandma - two women. But, I guess I never really spent too much time with them. I would always help in the kitchen, but I never learned to cook. And they never unleashed on me the divine secrets of the mama sisterhood.

It's almost kind of funny. I'm not an Alpha Male. I know that. Growing up, I didn't really play sports besides Johnny Tag and various incarnations of tag - including a beaning game we played between trees with a tennis ball. I was fairly athletic, though - if by athletic you mean quick and willowy and nimble at all of 80 pounds. I've always been fairly competitive, but certainly not the brutish stereotype of the man's man, six-pack and football and poker and strippers and... well, you get the picture. Obviously, I've never even been to these man's men hang-outs. In fact, I'm fairly sensitive. I used to cry all the time as a teenager. Of course, now I can't stand it when a young man gets all misty-eyed in my sight. But I couldn't stand my own hyper-sensitivity either.

It's almost kind of funny. If you look at my contacts here or the people I hang out with, they're overwhelmingly female (heck, some of the guys are underwhelmingly female!). But I don't understand how your minds work. I don't! I say mean things all the time. But I'm usually not aware that they're mean things. I come from a place where being sarcastic was a way of demonstrating affection. I won't pick up on the fact that what I said was inconsiderate until it's just about blown up in my face. Or someone (a woman, for sure) will say something to the effect of, "Well, no wonder you're not married yet."


Why am I saying this right now? Am I going through anything, particularly? No, not really.

Am I angry or frustrated at anybody? No, not unless you count myself. And even now, I'm not really angry with me.

I guess I'm just confounded by my own insensitivity to others, by the secrets, thoughts and scents of the woman.

hooo- wahh

It's just too marvelous to me. But I don't understand your thought processes. I don't understand what sets you off. I don't understand when I've done something to please or displease you. I don't understand what makes you tick.I like the cut of this man's gibberish!

Or the simplest bodily functions. Or your social-bility. I don't understand your insecurities, although I'm sure we're often to blame for it. I don't understand why so many women would spend so much time trying to pick up and get the attention of men, yet loudly declare, "I don't need a man." I don't understand the need to be loved and accepted and confirmed at all times. I don't understand why or how I should pick up on mis-leading signals nor why or how I would get in trouble for my inability to read them.

These are not shortcomings, though, of women. That is a different list for a different day, I'm sure (Hopefully, I won't be the fool to write that one). These are just curiosities of mine. These are the wonders, the things too wonderful to me. Why do I find the female so utterly fascinating, yet don't know what or how to deal with her (in general)? How could love that I didn't even know existed yet flickered and once in a while smarted in the recesses of my dumb soul burn so warmly and light me up so vividly in such a short period of epiphany? And what will become of this love, these affections of mine - and hers - if it all blows up like gasoline or burns down like Shakespearean embers at our feet (something we're committed to not allowing to happen. But even still...)? For sure, God will still be at the center, holding it all together, but I can't imagine not being a good bit sadder.

He who holds the keys to lady understanding, let him open the door to illuminate us all! He who has ears to hear, let him hear. He who has mouth to speak, though, don't. I'd rather marvel at this moment. Sister Wisdom, speak your words of life.