Monday, August 31, 2009

Mmmmmmmassage!

As I often do after a big, physical challenge, I got a massage today. I went to the Calistoga Massage School, which I've visited a few times in the past. ($49 for an hour, baby!) I was planning on getting a deep tissue massage, but the person I was scheduled with isn't trained in that. I asked her about it, though, and it seems that the deep tissue is where they pry your muscle from your bones and hurt you. Not what I want the day after a 1/2 marathon, but someday.
Last time I got a post-race massage, the woman who did it was not firm enough at all. It was more like a frou-frou relaxing massage, when I needed elbows dug into the muscles. Today, the wonderful Victoria (I think. Colbert made me lose my concentration just now) gave me the best massage I've ever had, with the perfect amount of pressure. I actually had to tell her to ease up on one of my arms, but it was otherwise perfect. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Yum!

I made a grown-up and innovative (for us) dinner tonight! Pasta salad (easy basic recipe to dress up). Some crazy kind of frilly macaroni, chicken, marinated bean salad from TJ's (italian), little tomatoes, basil (which I don't like in larger doses, I realize), some pecorino cheese, and a little caesar dressing. Yum yum yum. I want more now, but I want to take some tomorrow for lunch.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I Quit!

I'm done trying to quantify, categorize, and define God. Lately, almost every time I try to make a definitive statement about "God does X" or "God isn't Y" or even "I believe that God..." I realize that I also believe a contradictory statement. And the beauty is that, as a good post-modern, I can live with that. I hate labels and boxes, but they're so hard to resist.

But ever since I watched Rob Bell's Everything Is Spiritual (I highly recommend it), I've been wrestling with the Both/And aspects of God. I've been focusing on balance for a long time now- almost 7 years- and that helps with a lot of things, but that was primarily about personal behavior and what God wants from us. This Both/And thing is about Who God Is.

I often find myself arguing in my head with Christians that I disagree with. I think, "But God is love and you're trying to make him hateful!" Or I get mad at people who focus too much on following rules or acting a specific way to please God. I think that I have it all figured out and that the way that I see God is the better way, the truer way. But maybe God is Both. And. He wants us to love one another silly and be forgiving and trusting and generous, but he also wants us to obey him and stop sinning and focus on fearing him once in a while. Or at the same time.

"I don't believe" that everything that happens is God's will. I believe that we have free will and that Satan is in charge of a lot down here, or we are. "I believe" that God's kingdom breaks in from time to time either through our actions- it's what we're supposed to be doing- or through his deciding to act in a clearly visible way. But I also believe that God is in charge of my life, if I let him do so. I believe that God is bigger than the economy and I don't have to worry because I'll always be taken care of, even if it's not in the way that I expect.

So, am I a hopelessly confused hypocrite? I don't think so. I think that God can be both of these things. I believe more and more in the mysterious nature of God and that he is fully capable of being two apparently (to humans) contradictory things at the same time. I believe that he acts in our lives and cares about everything we do and also that some things just happen because that's the way the world works. Which is which and why? I don't know. Maybe that's a cop-out.

No matter the doubts and questions I have, I do believe that I know God, or a part of him. So my human self has to try to make sense of things, even while attempting to let go of making sense of everything.


From Ch. 5 of Alice in Wonderland

`I ca'n't believe that!' said Alice.

`Ca'n't you?' the Queen said in a pitying tone. `Try again: draw a long breath, and shut your eyes.'

Alice laughed. `There's no use trying,' she said `one ca'n't believe impossible things.'

`I daresay you haven't had much practice,' said the Queen. `When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

Friday, August 14, 2009

They Did It!!


Friends, I'm too tired to compose a thoughtful post, but I wanted to write a little about The Time Traveler's Wife.

As some of you may know, The Time Traveler's Wife is my #2 favorite book of all time, after Jane Eyre. When I first heard that they were making a movie, I was pleased, of course, but also worried. I mean, how many adaptations of books that you love really end up working how you want them to? Plus, the lead actors didn't strike me as the best picks- too pretty or something on both counts, even if I do adore Rachel McAdams. Eventually, though, my hope grew and grew, which is often dangerous- expectations can be nasty. I was downright excited to see it today when it opened.

Well, it was awesome. Wonderful. Heart-breaking. The best book adaptation I've ever seen. It's true that I haven't read the book in a couple years, but I didn't feel like anything was missing or changed too much. Yes, they changed the ending a little bit, but I can see why. What they did made a little more sense than what happened in the book, and they actually made it somewhat happier (as far as that is possible) at the very end. They basically made it tighter, while still showing what was necessary, and they also cut out a bit of plot that always made me mad, anyway.

I did have a bit of a problem getting past the brand-name actors, but eventually they became Henry & Clare. As soon as I saw Ron Livingston as Gomez, I thought he inhabited him well, though his character is much less active in the movie than in the book. That's fine, though, because Gomez is a bit of an ass who I often want off the page.

Overall: see it. I'll see it again, but I'll take kleenex this time. I'll buy it; torture my husband into watching it (but he has read the book so knows what he's in for). Thank you, Audrey Niffenegger for a beautiful book, and thank you, New Line, for not ruining it!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Monday, August 03, 2009

Here, let's make this easier:

I don't like live music.
I don't like poetry.
I don't like short stories.


There. Are these 3 things absolutely true 100% of the time? No. There are plenty of bands I want to see- but almost never in an "intimate" setting (I detest live music in restaurants, bars, or coffee shops); there are plenty of poems I find beautiful, but I don't really want to read that many that other people find or like; and short stories, well, there are actually very few of those that I enjoy that weren't written by Neil Gaiman.

In conclusion: These are good rules of thumb for interacting with me. Know them, love them, good friends, of course, can test me on them from time to time with little negative repercussions.