Thursday, September 21, 2006

Book Funk

I've been reading like a beast for the past year or so, and I fear that this streak is coming to an end. Very little is grabbing my attention or keeping it for very long. I feel a little like an empress or queen being presented with jesters- "You bore me! Throw him to the lions!"

I do believe that I have started and stopped reading 6 or 7 books in the past month, and the two that I did finish weren't satisfying. In fact, one pissed me off. This situation is a little depressing because I do so love to read. I have a list of about 150 books that, at some point, I decided that I want to read, but as I scan the list at the bookstore, I just think, "No. No. No. Not now. Ugh. Why is that on here?"

This entertainment apathy started with movies quite a few months ago. As with the book list, I have lots of movies in my queue, and by the time they arrive, I often have no idea what they are or why I decided to rent them. Aside from DVDs of TV shows, most movies we rent end up sitting on the floor for quite a while before they are finally watched. Or before we try to watch them, decide that they're boring, and send them back.

I'm sure that there is a deep statement that can be made about our consumerism and constant need for entertainment, but I'm just not in the mood for that. There are thousands and millions of books and movies out there- WHERE ARE THE ONES FOR ME???

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Amazing Grace- I am a wretch

I had a bit of a breakdown/pity party last night thinking about how long I've been praying about being loving, trying to be a more gracious person, and still failing miserably. I thought of times I've been snotty, mean, judgmental, difficult- some from years ago. I'm not sure if the meat of this breakdown came from God or from Satan (if it was conviction or accusation), but I know that God used it.

I've prayed to be more gracious, to be full of love, and also to be humbled. I am thankful for the humble perspective that I gained through realizing how much I have in common with Paul and with all people on this planet: "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do." Romans 7:15. I was glad when this verse came into my head last night, because even in my tears, the temptation was there for it to still be all about Me. But I don't run across anything that is uncommon to man, and I can always overcome.

It is so easy to be proud and to have no real grasp of the concept of grace when I don't have what people would consider huge sins in my past- no drugs, promiscuity, murder, violence. But I am no better than anyone, and nothing that I do earns my salvation or God's love. Grace is unmerited favor. A free gift.

I've been reading a book about grace and it has been focusing on God's grace to us so that we can see how little we deserve and, in turn, be more gracious to others. Everything I read I understood in my head, "yeah, yeah. Exactly. I don't deserve it", but it wasn't really clicking. I am extremely grateful for the small kick in the pants that I received, and I hope that I won't need further, bigger wake up calls in this area!

2 Corinthians 9:15

Monday, September 18, 2006

Why I heart myspace/the internet

I haven't written here in a while, and I have nothing new to say, but I thought that I would copy a blog I did a month ago on myspace:

This isn't a plug or anything, but a response to the many people out there who are so turned off by myspace and think it's full of sexual predators and freaks.

A shallow reason is because it is a place where I can pretend that my opinions count. We all design our pages and list what we like, and we get to feel like we are finally movie stars and people are reading about our favorite colors and movies in the pages of Bop magazine. This is fun.

The better reason is that it has expanded my social circle beyond the little, hand-picked group that naturally forms as time marches on. I have gotten to know people that may have otherwise stayed acquaintances or faded away altogether. I learn things about people that I didn't know, and I form new friendships that I probably wouldn't have had a chance to experience.

People still seem to look upon the internet with disdain or suspicion. We all tend to mock those who date people they meet online, or at least find it too weird to understand, but I'm starting to understand. Where I am right now in my life, I actually talk to more people online than on the phone, and definitely more than I talk to in person.

One of my best friends right now is someone I haven't yet met in person, but we have a real friendship and affection for one another. We talked on the phone for the first time last night, and it wasn't very different from conversations with some of my oldest friends where we think that we're almost done or don't have much to say, but it just keeps going and we ended up talking for an hour and a half. I think that's really cool.

I'm not sure if it's the product of an internet friendship or simply comes from our ages and stations in life, but it's almost like we laid our cards out on the table and had a little game of "Are You Sure You Want a New Friend?" Early in our online chatting, we were pretty honest about wanting friends vs. knowing that friends can be a big pain or take up time. Things like, "Well, I'm pretty anti-social sometimes, so don't be offended..." were said (mostly by me, but she agreed). It's probably a matter of age. We know that it is hard to make good friends at this stage, so we want to cut through the crap and tap-dancing.

A month after the original post, we now talk more on the phone than online. It seems sort of fake now when we chat online, like, "Why am I typing this when I can just talk to you?!" My friend's mother died last night, and I'm glad to be someone that she can lean on and I'm honored that I've been with her through this and she called me to let me know.

We're finally going to meet next month, and we are both quite certain that we will be boogery, crying messes when we do. I've had close friendships in the past where I couldn't have imagined not staying bestbest friends with someone, yet we drifted and lost touch, so I'm trying to keep a little bit of perspective before I put her in my will or something. (I jest.) But I would like to think that this is the Real Deal, and that even if we have times where we don't talk often, that we'll always reconnect.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Moral Legislation

I've actually been thinking about this topic since it's been brought up a bit lately. I'm sure that I have many conflicting thoughts about it, but today I have two things to say:

1) It is not the job of the government or the Church to make a bunch of rules about what people should or should not be doing. They are to be examples of what is right, and the Church is supposed to love people and bring them to Christ. I understand that government has a protective role and that could get murky, but I guess that I am in the conservative camp of "no big government" on this one.
Y'all know that I love California, but just in my short time here I see how it could turn into a police state "for your own good" down the road. Example? Sure. I gave blood the other day and I noticed that it there is a state law mandating that you stay in the canteen area for 15 minutes after giving blood. A STATE LAW!!!

2) I don't know if this conflicts with or goes right along with my point above, but this just made me laugh my butt off: The headline on says "Brangelina won't marry until all couples can."
Well, bully for them. Their respective histories display an obvious reverence for the institution of marriage. I guess that my main point is the self-importance and delusional tendencies of stars.

Update on Sept. 11, 2006 6:42 PM

I understand that the example I gave of the California law isn't "moral" legislation, it's simply stupid, but I guess that I feel it veers towards morality by trying to tell people what to do down to a micro-managed level. I am also aware that there are many conflicts to be had in this area and the whole concept of Government's role as protector.

The law about giving blood gets into the "my body, my choice" area, which can go in many different directions. My parents get completely bent out of shape by the seatbelt law, but I don't think that they want abortion to continue to be legal. The junior college here is now a non-smoking campus. I hate smoking, don't want to be around it, and I'm absolutely thrilled that there is no smoking in any bars, restaurants, bowling alleys, etc in California, but the entire campus being smoke free just rubs me slightly the wrong way.

We live in a fallen world and it is never going to be perfect. I don't expect that I or anyone else will ever have the exact solution, much less that any government will approach the ideal in this regard. It seems that we just have to roll with it and pray for wisdom for picking our battles, because for every law that I think is ridiculous and insulting, there were obviously enough people that did not think so who could be just as passionate about it.

Here is an article of partial relevancy to this topic and a whole 'nother can of worms. It's at Christianity Today. (What else do I read, seriously?)

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Silly post, cont.

Maybe I won't stop watching so much TV. I am having some seriously whacked out, but interesting dreams!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Just give me back my romance novels, 'kay?

How was your Labor Day weekend? Mine was lovely, thank you for asking. We were going to visit family but decided that it just wasn't relaxing. Our Saturday was the usual weird combo: training, TV, church, drinking. We also had the regularly scheduled late-night runs to the grocery store and Blockbuster, but I think those were last night, not on Saturday.
Both yesterday and today we went to the park to walk and even took the dog. She was mostly good and was nice and tuckered out on the way back. Today we took our chairs and sat by the lake reading for a few hours. Very, very lovely. Have I mentioned my love for California? Oh, that's right, I have.

I am not going to read all the books I checked out about feminism. I'm just not going to do it. Why? Because I don't want to and I don't have to. I'm going to skim them to get a feel for the history and what the current ideas are, but that's about it. What I've basically learned is that, as much as some of the "mainstream" feminists would like to make you think otherwise, there is no one definition of a feminist. There is the common thread of acknowledging an oppressive history and wanting continued expansion of freedom and respect for women here and abroad, but that's about where the commonality ends. So, just as I challenge some people's notion of what a "normal" Christian is, I'll go ahead and embrace the label of feminist and sometimes I'll explain myself, and sometimes everyone can just suck it!

As far as the "liberal" label, I think that I'll put that one back where I found it. The ideological baggage that comes with "liberal" or "conservative" just is too much nonsense to deal with, so I'll stick with my middle-of-the-road, independent, sometimes here, sometimes there non-label which has done pretty well for me for the last 16 years or so.

Now, I can slowly (v-e-r-y) finish reading A Generous Orthodoxy and perhaps get back to my fiction. Where is that vampire book I had?

Friday, September 01, 2006

And now for a silly post

I've been having Project Runway dreams. THANKS, BRAVO! Last night there was also a dash of Six Feet Under, and also Christa Alberts was there. (Old friend.)
The night before last was Kayne from PR, Anthony Bourdain, an island inspired by the last leg of Treasure Hunters, and I was advising on a PR task because it was the same as when my leg of The Amazing Race went through the day before. Plus, lots of drama.

I think that I may be watching too much TV.