Monday, August 21, 2006

End of the World, pts. 1 & 2

1) I guess they won't be rolling any Bronto Doobies in future Hanna Barbera movies.
Offered in the tradition of the "Cop in E.T. wasn't holding a pad" and "Hans Shot First" complaints.


I'm taking a blogger's sabbatical through the end of September. I have a feeling I'll still write essays and get pissed at media (big and so-called democratic), or rather, the wheels that turn the various media. I just won't have a media of my own to outlet for a while.

I think Solomon says it best, better to keep your trap shut and appear wise than open your mouth and show the world you're a doofus [I Hesitations vii, IJasdyeV].

I'm gonna try to look wise beyond my years for a moment.

I'll still try to answer my one or two replies. And, if you need me and can figure it out, I'll still be available via gmail.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Look up in the sky if you wanna, I'm going to bed

Last week, Chicago Reader film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum quoted a possibly apocryphal Stanley Kubric line in his own assessment of Oliver Stone's World Trade Center. He supposedly said about his sometimes foil's popular movie, “The Holocaust is about six million people who get killed, Schindler’s List was about 600 people who don’t.”

I should admit, I have an issue with that statement. As if somehow the survivors amongst the brutal wreckage don't carry with them the weight of the dead. I can't say the same for Stone's movie.

But I love this quote the proven film scholar and social critic Rosenbaum attributes to Orson Welles in the same year of his infamous War of the Worlds broadcast, 1938, "before," Rosenbaum notes, "he started making movies."

I want to give the audience a hint of a scene. No more than that. Give them too much and they won't contribute anything themselves. Give them just a suggestion and you get them working with you. That's what gives the theater meaning: when it becomes a social act.

Although Rosenbaum brings this up in his review of The Illusionist (he reviews it as one of those ever-rare four-star masterpieces he dishes out considerably less than his t.v.'d brethren), it recalls to me the newest Superman movie. Apparently, in the original version, the movie posters promised that, "You will believe a man can fly."

I did. My family did. We wanted to see him go up in the air and hold Lois Lane from falling great depths to the ground with her simple, naive statement of disbelief, "You've got me. But, who's got you?" And we believed that he was holding her through the nightsky high above the busy, dirty streets of Manhattan - I'm sorry, Metropolis - and at the tip of Lady Liberty's lamp.

The new movie had none of that magic. Everything it had going for it, if anybody heard anything from anybody about the movie, was in the special effects. In this post-cynical times, though, with every piece of media meta-ing all over themselves (not the least of these being Superman Returns), special effects and over-the-top self-referencing aren't enough (not to ruin any surprises here, but the biggest piece of self-referencing of Kal-El & Lois Lane's love is evident and all over the place from the first act).

There was no wooing in this movie, as there is in little that comes out of big-bdget movies. There were no hints, there were no suggestions. The magic was gone.
The mystery was gone. I no longer cared if a man could fly, no matter how much the filmmakers showed me he could.

Ramseys = *Shivers*

Wait. Are they sure this guy isn't the father?

It's just creepy all the way around.

Please, bloggers, for the love of God and man, no pictures. Please!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

What's the deal with... (part one)

The need for a lowered toilet seat?

Now, I know. Fools rush in... The heavyweights - the Bill Cosbys, Jerry Seinfelds, Dave Chappelles, Sinbads, Carrot Tops, Gallaghers - won't touch the subject. They know it's potential comic disaster; it could be extremely hokey. Before they learn better, every hack amateur and poor-man's slum-lord comedian has a bit on the act. Well, here's mine:

I don't understand how it's so flippin' universal. Every woman I know from every house I've ever had to use the facilities in has yelled at me about this issue. Now, I'm not sloppy. That's not my problem. I wipe up and all. But, all women everywhere always get upset about leaving that danged toilet seat up. Why?

We only need the blasted seat once a day. We use the toilet, or some variant thereof, several times though. So, you see, the seat itself is... not really dispensible, but certainly an afterthought.

Why go through the process of lowering it when we'll most likely need to raise it again in a couple hours of intense Sunday afternoon festivities anyway (most likely with the aid of cheap beer)? It's not for aesthetic reasons, so don't bother telling me that. That toilet looks no better with the seat up, down, covered, or tossed into the bath itself.

In fact, it's worse covered. God invented porceline for toilets, honey. Don't give us shaggy carpets or fluffy pads. Keep it cold and hard.

The other question I gotta ask is, Why aren't men taking back their roles in this? I don't want to sound like Bill Maher on this (who the hell does?), but shouldn't this at least be a neutral zone? Shouldn't men have the lisence to liberate ourselves from the constraints of the contemporary world in one place?

Isn't the toilet, of all places, sacred? If a man's home is his castle, then surely his throne is the throne. We need to fight for our masculinity in the place where it matters most - the potty.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Woo-Hoo White Sox!

Ivan the Terrible Rodriguez. Image credit:

First, the Sox won a series against perennial powerhouse New York Spankees (who they're virtually in a four-way race for wild-card with). And then they sweep the best team in baseball this year (at this point), the Detroit Tiggers. We're now only 5 1/2 games behind them, and ahead of everybody else in the wc race, but just barely. Later this week we take on another wild card runner in the Minnesota Twigs, after a four game rest (hopefully) playing around with the Kansas City Royals - the Cubs of the AL.

I think it's because my wife and I went to Friday night's opening game that we whooped les Tigres. And I think my little catch-phrase should catch on. It goes, "Shut up, De-Troiit!" Try it. Wildfire, tellin' ya.

Self-fulfilling prophesize!

We had decided that the best thing for us - and, by extension, for our God, families and friends - was to get married soon and quickly. To get the wedding out of the way so that we could begin life together as married, be blessed by God and church (and hopefully the extension of that), and be there to support each other on a daily basis.

But it strikes me as... not funny, ironic, the obsession we have with a big, long, planned and expensive wedding and the exceptional (but imagined) correlation we have between the largess of the wedding and the quality of the marriage. So, now, not only do I have to spend a lot of time, energy, focus and money on my new spouse and beginning our new lives, now I also have to please everybody else and begin our new lives in extreme debt for a momentary day?

I'm not against big weddings, by the way. I love 'em. I love my friends that're able to pull them off with all of their stamina and integrity intact. In fact, I still want to do a big feast/celebration for us. But you know, it just wasn't for us at the time. And I think people should be okay with that. My parents did a quick wedding. They're still together after 35+ years (not that they're my model or inspiration, necessarily in their troubles. But certainly in sticking it out). But the expense and hugeness of the event has absolutely nothing to do with the marriage itself. If you want proof, check the tabloid section of your newspaper.

Marriage is a beautiful and sacred organism and its birth should be witnessed and celebrated by the participants' communities. But if the participants decide that putting it off is more harmful than helpful, more dangerous than delightful, that should be the bride and groom's decision and should be honored, even if cautiously.

Anyway, I'm rambling. What I wanted to point out is that sometimes (and I'm witnessing this here) the forces that love you and want to protect you from wrecking yourself and your marriage are so worried that they become devestatingly antagonistic. As a result, they contribute to the atmosphere of wreckage, as if they wait on the fringes of the marriage to help pick up the pieces after it fails and just barely restrain themselves from saying, "See, I told you so." It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The Mrs. and I know that we are climbing an uphill battle. We know that we have some bridges to mend. We are realizing anew and bodily that "the wages of sin is death." Add to that the fact that we are learning, on a daily basis, what it means to truly love each other - to think as a pair (And I admit my slowness in this). But this demonization is sad and foolish. It's not loving. Despite best intentions, it's hateful, and hate spurs destruction. Pray for us, and others on our road.

Friday, August 11, 2006

What I'm doing


Tonight, Mrs. jasdye and I are going to take in a Sox game. Against the Detroit "Holy Hot Streak" Tigers. Goodness. We better win or I'm gonna be miserable to console.

I went into work a couple days this week. I moved stuff around, including to a larger room. But honeymoon weeks weren't meant for work. I so wish she didn't have to work. Lord, I miss her when she's away.

Well, I'm not gonna let you into that aspect of what I'm doing. If you wanna find out, get married for the first time and spend precious time with your spouse in the warm august days of summer, wake up to his or her smile and remind yourself how blessed you are that someone as truly beautiful as she or he is looking into your eyes, just as transfixed by you as you by her or him. (OK, so we do need optional gender-neutral singular third person pronouns. Are you happy? I never denied it. It's just the ones proffered are repulsively ugly.)

Reading the books of Romans and Psalms with her. Continuing to read Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation by Jeff Chang, Setting Limits in the Classroom: How to Move Beyond the Dance of Discipline in Today's Classrooms by Dr. Robert J. MacKenzie, and - when my head doesn't hurt from the tech-lite jargon, Practicing What We Know: Informed Reading Instruction, Ed. by Constance Weaver. Also the blogs on the left (esp. McKnight's daily series on Romans - which I'm still trying to catch up to.) And just checking out the Christian Vision Project, which asks the over-riding question of visionary leaders (pastors, scholars, et. al.) "How can followers of Christ be a counterculture for the common good?" The trend of answers that I'm seeing there are so anti-Pat Robertson/Ted Baehr/James Dobson/President Bush (not against those people, but against their representations of what Christianity is supposed to be about) that it makes me happy to count myself as a Christian again.

We're also praying alot more. Though the Book of Common Prayers is only ocassionally referenced. Short on time, really.

As far as music, iTunes ( not the iPod, which I haven't even bothered to ask permission for) is literally changing the ways I buy music, freeing me up to check out stuff I wouldn't normally get to listen to, such as folk-rockers Nick Drake and Jeff Buckley (of course, generally having more money is beneficial in this area too). And since I was young, I've been marginally interested in world music, but fearful that I wouldn't be able to listen to it without appearing to be a big fake. I finally decided that, well, every one's gotta start somewhere.

This morning, in addition to this year's additions of Ladysmith's Long Walk to Freedom and Peter Gabriel's Passion, I grazed over and picked a few of Afro-pop's Fela Kuti's shorter works (which only clock in at 7-10 minutes), as well as an obvious sex-crazed single by his son, Femi, titled "Beng Beng." Fela's music is a mix of West African beats tinged with sweaty, tribal funk (which seems looser than Brown's and more frentic than Clinton's to me) underlayed by a Miles Davis-influenced jazz, with a bit of a rock-fusion thrown in there for good effect. Oh, and some more Ladysmith, from the Paul Simon-produced Shaka Zulu.

Oh, and tomorrow the Mrs. and I begin our pre-marital counseling. Haha. I know, funny, right?

Thursday, August 10, 2006

I said if they take my stapler, I may have to burn this place down.

My wife doesn't like too many movies. And she absolutely abhors anything that could give her the willies (she profusely warned me that Superman Returns better not give her nightmares!). But there is one comedy (she just screened it for the first time a few weeks ago) we keep quoting and referencing - Office Space.

Certainly one of the better scenes in recent history in regards to technology. Sometimes I'm ready to perform this on my computer.

Perfect soundtrack, btw.

In other movie-related news, Talladega Nights is really, really funny. I haven't read a single review on it, and I don't want to. I'm taking the lady. I hope she likes it. 'Cause I could go for some Ricky Bobbie quotes around the house. And, honestly, who wouldn't want to pray to Christmas Baby Jesus?

Shake. And bake. Indeed.

Looking at Justice via the scope of some local news, pt. 1

Like most of the post-Watergate generation, I'm not a big fan of the political game. I consider myself neither Republican nor Democrat, liberal, conservative nor moderate. I suppose I do fit somewhere in there, closer to one side than another in general. But, I tend to think of myself as an advocate of social justice, which, despite their claims of compassion, caring or service, neither party gives a rip about.

And the issues are usually more difficult than polarizing political polemics can more than conjure. I'll give two issues that were addressed in the Chicago news yesterday.

1) The Big-Box Ordinance. The mayor is fighting with city council about this proposal that he may or may not veto. So are big box companies (such mega-area outlets as Wal-Mart, Target, Home Depot, Lowes, etc.), many of which are planning on moving proposed - and even already functioning and thriving - stores from Chicago proper to the suburbs. The ordinance will force such big-box companies (with 90,000 sq. ft and annual sales of over a billion dollars, according to my regular news source, Red Eye) to pay employees at least $10 an hour plus $3 in benefits (health, et. al.). The mayor, some business bureaus and certain aldermen are concerned because the advent of Wal-Mart into blighted areas of the city means jobs right on the front. People with little to no experience and training can get full or nearly full time jobs. Construction would also be in an upswing.

But, much like building prisons, the long-term downturn is worse than the immediate upturn would have us believe. Wal-Mart, especially, is parasitic. (Click here for the "JibJab Big Box-Mart" video. Note: You need to open in crappy IE window.) It already receives gobs of tax relief for opening new locations, and is quite good at squashing the competition. For instance, my parents live in a town in north-eastern Oklahoma. For the first ten or so years they lived there, they would do their regular shopping at the local supermarkets. And then the local Wal-Mart shut-down upon completion of its Super Wal-Mart neighbor. Complete with a grocer's area. It only took a couple of years before all of the other supermarkets shut down.

Could this happen in super-blighted places like Englewood or Austin? (Blighted, btw, being just a comparison to more middle-class and affluent neighborhoods, spec. in Chicago. Not to, say, Haiti.) Sure. But the jobs coming in could make it worth it. Could. If they pay well enough. Wal-Mart is notorious for paying near minimum-wage sans benefits. The ordinance calls for them to raise their pay to a living-wage rate. It says, in effect, that the city and county shouldn't have to burden the whole cost of health and welfare of its working citizens (when I was working for near minimum-wage w/o health benefits, it was understandable. I could deal with a couple years - being single, young, male and healthy - without such health care. But when you're raising a family in the city, it's a different animal altogether). Wal-Mart is the biggest retail company/corporation in the world. They can't afford to pay their workers $13/hour? That's like BP saying that they have to raise gas prices again. Huh! What a crazy world.

I used to hate the strong-arm tactics of the unions. But now I see an anti-union powerhouse putting a stranglehold on the city of broad shoulders. I think the reason that I haven't heard Home Depot raise a stink about this is because they already pay their workers at least ten an hour (this from an old roommate who worked for them part-time in the late '90s. I would assume they've raised their wages since then). So, it's not that big a deal. And their workers aren't necessarily that experienced either.

2) A fourteen year old got shot by police the other day in the quickly closing Cabrini Green projects near downtown. The kid was brandishing a bb gun that looks remarkably like a real pistol, according to police reports and the picture they posted in the news yesterday. Police said that they told the young man to drop his weapon but he refused, steadily aiming at them. They shot and severely injured him. Residents are protesting and marching.

The question I would ask is why they are marching. Not that it's not justified. Distrust between low-income blacks and police in big cities like Chicago is well-grounded and deeply scary. Just because the police say that they told the youth to drop his weapon doesn't mean they actually told him to before they shot him. Regardless, I think that most people in such a situation would be justified in firing. Especially in the high-fear climate in such an area.

It's the climate, however, that's prompting the response. Much as in the case of O.J. (Nobody believes that Simpson didn't do it. Please! He killed 'em and he liked it. But the obvious racism parlayed by the arresting officers and the racist and covering trends of the LAPD made a hero of The Juice, despite obvious class and guilt issues.) Residents of the Greens are being evacuated from the only homes many of them know - largely by a confluence of wealth and politics - and many of the remaining have yet to find a new residence. Or, rather, the powers that be have yet to find residence for them, despite their earlier promises. And those who remain are finding that, in general, the police are more responsive to their affluent neighbors' needs than they have been to them. The residents of the Greens have every right to rally and protest, for up to this point, they were looked at as if they lived in Fort Apache: The Bronx, or on the set of Escape from New York.

Cookin' with the Cookster

I made some pasta last night. Neither me nor Mrs. jasdye are, technically speaking, what others would refer to as "cooks." We don't - to use technical jargon - "bake" or "boil" or "broil" foods. Unless by "bake" you mean, "thaw and heat frozen pizza" or by "boil" you mean, "cook hot dogs." I am, however, pretty decent on a grill and have tried my mean hand at deep-frying chicken wings. But, because of our schedules, with the Mrs. working all day and me employing my teacher's summer schedule, I'm thinking it'd be nice to prepare a nice home-cooked meal every night for the two of us. This works especially well since she only really eats once a day. And since we both like pasta (to a fault), I'd start there.

The pasta recipe book called it rigatone and chorizo. Although I didn't have rigatone outright, I did just buy some rigate mostaccelli. I just bought some chorizo (and I cook some mean spaghetti and chorizo, btw. And I mean that) earlier that day (although I didn't realize 'til later that it was 'no picante'), but more importantly, I have a bunch of Italian sausage laying around in the fridge from the week before - and I need to use that before it begins to go bad. As far as the rest of the ingredients are concerned, well, all good chefs improvise. I just substitute. I look through six different markets for mozzarella. None. But there is plenty of fresco queso. I don't know what that is, but hopefully, it'll do. Also, no white, dry wine. Fortunately, the quick-thinking kicks in and I grab our bottle of merlot. F***in' merlot. Man, it's got a strong scent.

Slice up a whole onion? That's crazy talk! I ain't crying over no meal! I chopped half an onion. You would've been proud of me. And we didn't have pre-sliced tomatoes. So, you know what I did? You'll never guess....

Ok, give up? I sliced them all by myself! Yep.

Add to this the fact that although we have two or three sets of pots and pans, the only sharp knives we have are a couple steak knives. Like the type that you would have at the table, next to your plate, to dig into that particularly tough piece of steak that my mom is famous for - and that I'm sure will carry down through the generations. Since we didn't have salt, I peppered generously. Since we didn't have basil, I grounded the pepper generously. Oh, and some fresh-ground chili pepper.

The mostaccelli done, I drained it and spread some grated fresco on it. And then the homemade sausage/darkredwine/extravirginoliveoil-sauteed onions/beefsteak tomato/wine-vinegar (for good measure)/chili pepper sauce went into the pot atop the pasta. Add some more cheese, put the cover on and leave on low heat 'til she comes home.

With the mozzarella. Well, we'll use it later, I tell her.

We settle down. My hours of searching, pining, running around, slavishly chefing all over the place (it was like a one-man "Hell's Kitchen." I think. I dunno. I never watched it), cleaning the dining area and setting up the candles and flower arrangement just right.

I worry that the strong boozy smell from the merlot and vinegar might be a turn-off, since neither of us are very good at alcohol consumption. Nope. She takes a bite, declares - much like God himself over creation - it good. We ask God to bless the meal and our evening. She tells me how she had lunch with her brother and updates me on him. It takes a second to register... She ate already! Snap! I should've warned her specifically in the morning.

But, on the bright side:
1) I experimented. And I liked that challenge.
2) It's better than Sbarro's pizza.
3) She wasn't turned off. Au contrair, mon frere.
Take that, babies!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Can you SHUT me up??? NO!!

At first I was concerned that I've run out of things to talk about. My life just seems to be one hot trend after another, with gossip following me like FMZ trailing the Gibson family. And I can't stand the confessional nature of so many blogs. Which is why I'm not on

But then I realized, heck, I'm married. I can tell little stories without becoming too self-indulgent (and I mean, who would ever criticize me of being self-indulgent?) and only a bit revelatory (I also don't care for the idea that Aunt Phoebe's daily goings-on with her cats can teach us a lot about ourselves [not that they can't - but they don't] or that anybody on the blogs has a corner-market on truth - even the so-called relativistic truth that there is no truth, or has earth-shattering statements coming out of their arses). But, in our quest to become a family - through some of our little travails and li'l ol' triumphs - I'd like the opportunity to share some stories if I may that others may relate to, laugh at/with, or enter into.

I don't know. Sounds like I'm just starting this blog thing - rather than being a hardened veteran of several hundred posts. Yeah, I'M THE FLIPPIN' MAN, gyros!

So, cooking story next. And it's a doozy. You'd have thought Christine B. wrote it.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Sign o' the Times

How to tell that your new neighborhood has monied church peoples, Part 1:

That's right. The whole congregation can afford to go on sabbatical and say, "Screw you" to all the neighbors. And, apparently, God.

But, honestly, did they have to give us a "War-Hearted Affirming"? That's just downright nasty of them.

What can you say, though? Rich folks, y'know?

Friday, August 04, 2006

Wha' Happened?

I've been trying to get as many posts in as soon as possible before the mad-rush of teaching season begins. But every once in a while you run into a few snafus. This week in Chicago - as in much of the nation - it was extremely, extremely butt-hot. But rather than that being an excuse to stay indoors and write more self-absorbed essays and geeky pop-cultural blood-letting. But, apparently, human beings who occupy physical space and sweat were not the only ones affected by the stroke-waves. Internet waves everywhere were asking, "Are we not particles? Do we not sweat?"
I don't think so!

So, yeah. And then there's the fact that I've been making plans all week to get me and Jennie (wow. I'm gonna have to change my frame of mind from here on out. It's gonna be plural - 'we' instead of 'me'.) out of this limbo stage that was killing us. But, tonight's the night. We're getting married.

I know a lot of people (well, maybe three of the four of you reading this) may have a lot of questions. I'm sorry, but I don't feel that this is a space to answer many of those questions - at least not now. But we did what we felt was right and God-honoring. And as much as we wanted to honor her parents, there was no way to please them except to wait for a year or two. And that's just not something that we could do - as Fred Willard noted above.

I love my faithful readers. Please pray for us. I gotta shower and get the rental. So, peace!


Thursday, August 03, 2006

Sometimes birthdays suck!

Yesterday was Jennie's 29th. It was also, in her words, her worst birthday ever. I could see that statement being justified. It was a really bad day. Maybe I'll share why later. Maybe I won't.

But it was a really bad day and as much as I was able to temporarily soothe her and allieve her pain, it was only a temporary solution. As much as I want to be the Man of All Answers and Comfort, I'm just another Thunderheaded Man.

And then it strikes me that God the Father is the God of all Comfort, and my job is to lead her to God. And I haven't been doing the best job at that.

I'm trying to fix that problem. I'm beginning to fix myself and my sorrowful spiritual condition, but in the meantime, I had some walls arise from things I done and decisions I made. Those are all slowly starting to turn (and, yes, reap). But in the meantime, I'm realizing that my primary job to my wife is going to be her priest - her guide-to-God.

Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Eat this jogging.

I started the practice of jogging last week. After doing two-a-day miles for a total of an hour, I took a break. Since the heatstrokewave hit this week rather coincided with weak knees and weak wills. But, fortunately, I have this on archive:

About taking up the rhythms of jogging and a relationship between that and reading and living out (or obeying) the Bible, Eugene Peterson writes:

Running developed from a physical act to a ritual that gathered meditation, reflection, and prayer into the running. By this time I was subscribing to three running magazines and regularly getting books from the library on runners and running. I never tired of reading about running... How much is there to write about running? There aren't an infinite number of ways you can go about it - mostly it is just putting one foot before the other. None of the writing, with few exceptions, was written very well. But it didn't matter that I had read nearly the same thing twenty times before; it didn't matter if the prose was patched together with cliches; I was a runner and I read it all.

And then I pulled a muscle and couldn't run for a couple of months as I waited for my thigh to heal. It took me about two weeks to notice that since the injury I hadn't picked up a running book or opened a running magazine... I wasn't reading because I wasn't running. The moment I began running again I started reading again.

That is when I caught the significance of the modifier "spiritual" in "spiritual reading." It meant participatory reading. It meant that I read every word on the page as an extension or deepening or correction or affirmation of something that I was a part of. I was reading about running not primarily to find out something, not to learn something, but for companionship and of the experience of running... [I]f I wasn't running, there was nothing to deepen.

The parallel with reading Scripture seems to me almost exact: if I am not participating in the reality - the God reality, the creation/salvation/holiness reality - revealed in the Bible, not involved in the obedience [John] Calvin wrote of, I am probably not going to be much interested in reading about it - at least not for too long.

Calvin taught that - as many theologians and preachers from the beginnings of the biblical canon taught - that in order to understand the Bible, you have to live it, obey it.

Staying true to the idea that the Bible is God's revelation of his story to us and that we enter into his story - not the other way around - Peterson tells a story of a couple that he pastored that further illustrates the point.

Anthony Plakados was a thirty-five-year-old truck driver in my congregation. Anthony grew up in Greek home, conventionally Catholic, but none of it rubbed off. He left school after the eighth grade. He told me that he had never read a book. And then he became a Christian, got himself an old King James Bible with small print, and read it three times in that first year of his conversion. Anthony was off and running. Mary, his wife, was interested but also a bit bewildered by all this and asked a lot of questions. Mary had grown up a proper Presbyterian, gone to Sunday School all her growing up years, and was used to a relition of definitions and explanations. When Mary's questions got too difficult for Anthony, he would invite me to their trailer-house home, papered with Elvis Presley posters, to help him out. One evening the subject was the parables - Mary wasn't getting it. I was trying to tell her how to read them, how to make sense out of them. I wasn't getting on very well, and Anthony interrupted, "Mary, you got to live 'em, then you'll understand 'em; you can't figger 'em out from the outside, you got to git inside 'em - or let them git inside you."

And Anthony hadn't read so much as a word of John Calvin.

From Eat This Book.