Sunday, June 29, 2003
Saturday, June 28, 2003
I JUST DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH MYSELF
Living/vocational situation still unclear. All signs seem to point to my spending an inordinate amount of time with "What Color is Your Parachute?" in the next couple months, which is enough to give me the screaming fantods. Will update as soon as I have something to say.
MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE = WORLD OF INTERESTING SMELLS
CI is up in Vermont for the weekend, having driven a friend up here who's attending language school at Middlebury. The drive up from Long Island, despite being disorienting (I'm in New York? and I'm in a CAR?!?), was absolutely gorgeous--up to Westchester, over the Tappan Zee Bridge, and then a straight shot up to Albany along the Hudson River and then into even-more-scenic Vermont, which is real real pretty. Just picture us in the Billy family's old Crown Victoria, cruising along the Hudson, singing along to "Cecilia" by Simon and Garfunkel, and you get the gist.
The view from Christine's bedroom--campus quad plus mountains in the background--is pretty incredible as well.
Interestingly, however, when we pulled up to register Christine upon arrival, we noticed a pronounced scent of cow poo. I mean, y'know, noticeable. And it was interesting, because as far as I could see, there weren't any actual cows or livestock around, giving rise to an interesting series of questions: does all Vermont smell like this? does Middlebury just pipe in cow-poo-scent through the ventilation system? what's going on here? I also had the following exchange later that evening with a Midd alum:
me: So, yeah, we pulled up to register, and the registration building smelled like cow poo!
him: yeah, depending on the wind, the whole campus smells like that.
Did you HEAR him? the WHOLE campus. No wonder people from Vermont wear patchouli all the time--they're covering up the smell of cow nasty. This morning I got up, still a little disoriented from sleep, and went into the bathroom in the dormitory, and the BATHROOM smelled like cow poo. I wondered for a split second if what I was doing in the bathroom had produced that smell, and let me tell ya, it was an awful split-second. Sheesh.
Anyway--enough about the poo-smell. Christine's computer doesn't work, so I'm blogging standing-up in a computer cluster. Time to rest my feet. More anon.
CUBS SCREW THE POOCH AGAIN:
sigh. i think this is the sound of the wind going out of our sails. unless we can steal the last two games, i think we're gonna lose our mojo.
Thursday, June 26, 2003
DESERT ISLAND DISKS:
Per Joy Kim's request:
1. Blood on the Tracks, Bob Dylan
My favorite Dylan album, although I haven't really listened to Time Out of Mind. Tuneful and mellow if it's on in the background, but it will absolutely stab you in the heart every time you pay attention to the lyrics. So, so sad and heartbreaking and tough. Very good stuff. Killer track: "Shelter from the Storm."
2. Rain Dogs, Tom Waits
3. Bone Machine, Tom Waits
Tommy's the only one on here with two albums; I'm not sure that's because he's twice as good as anyone else, but rather that I just really love both of these albums. "Rain Dogs" is sorta mid-period Waits--strange, yeah, with songs about pirates and Puerto Rican mistresses with wooden legs--whereas "Bone Machine" is the beginning of late-period Waits, with songs about death and insanity and meaninglessness, pretty much his favorite themes since then. Killer tracks: "Clap Hands," "Dirt in the Ground."
4. Mock Tudor, Richard Thompson
This is NOT the one with Vincent Black Lightning 1952, the song about the motorcycle, which I am totally obsessed with. However, I think it's his best album qua album (yes, I did just use "qua" in a sentence)--it's totally solid all the way through and has a really consistent vibe to it. The production is also much better--before he used producers Mitchell Froom and Tchad Blake (both of whom I hate now for mucking up what I consider great albums) and on this one he used Tom Rothrock and Rob Schnapf (who also did Elliott Smith), and the sound is really awesome--much fuller and meaner. Killer track: "Hard On Me."
5. Exile on Main Street, the Rolling Stones
I didn't get why the Stones were so famous until I listened to this. Killer track: all of it.
6. American Recordings, Johnny Cash
The best of his late-period collaborations with Rick (Slayer, LL Cool J) Rubin. I mean, it's got a murder ballad, a cover of a Danzig song, and two totally heartfelt Christian ballads on it. What else do you want?!? Listening to "Like a Soldier," the second-to-last track on the album, is always really powerful for me--when you know a little of Cash's back story, how close he came to dying so many times and how hard he struggled with drugs and all that, you really appreciate such a simple, joyful song about being alive and being married and being grateful to God.
(In trying to type "being," I just typed "beijing," more than once. Hmm.)
7. It's Hard to Find a Friend, Pedro the Lion
Mellow music--you couldn't tell that the later albums would be so dark based on this. But very tuneful, very authentic, and moving. I spend a lot of time strumming my guitar playing "the Longer I Lay Here." Good rock by Christians. Killer: "the Bells."
8. My Aim is True, Elvis Costello
This was his first album (!), which he put out at the age of 21 or 22 or 23 (!!). Whatever else he did since then, you've got to worship the guy. Compared to so much else of what was happening at the time--Pink Floyd, the Allman Brothers Band, what have you--these songs are like a kick in the teeth, only the best possible kick in the teeth ever. Short, punchy, insanely catchy, and really sad and funny lyrics ("I said, I'm so happy I could die/she said 'drop dead!' and left with another guy!")--all exactly what song-writing ought to be, and the best of what punk rock has to offer. Killer track: mmm. "Miracle Man."
9. U2, the Joshua Tree
Albums that have a huge influence on you between 6th grade and 9th grade tend to stay with you, as this album has. Lately "Bullet the Blue Sky" has seemed like a stronger song than it did before. killer--ah, I'm preaching to the choir on that one.
10. Aerosmith, Rocks
Because if I'm on a desert island listening to these other 9 albums, I will start to cry, and I'll need something to help me rock out. Listen to this and you'll never make fun of them for playing the SuperBowl with Britney Spears again. killer: "Lick and a Promise."
Bonus: "Dream On," single, the Gaither Vocal Band
Because when I'm on a desert island, no one can make fun of me for listening to this song. And if any of you know the Gaither Vocal Band, you'll know why I'm embarassed. This song a) inspires me and b) reminds me of cross-country car trips with my family, so it's kind of a warm-fuzzy-feeling kind of track.
ADVANCED BLOGGER LOOKS NICE.
Hopefully it's still the same crash-prone, post-eating honey-bunny that we've come to know and love.
Tuesday, June 24, 2003
THIS IS FREAKING BRILLIANT.
Admittedly, my weird sense of humor is at play here, but I found it really, really funny. Those of you who were fans of comic-books as a kid will especially love it. (Via The Rat's site--it's a lot like Eve Tushnet's, only with a lot more goofy flotsam and jetsam.)
is happening in Bible study this week, in lieu of the usual curriculum. Pastor Phil has dutifully agreed to show up and try to answer some of these, although something tells me that Pastor Phil's answers won't be as simple as 2+2=4.
These are the questions I came up with last night; they're all based on questions that kept coming up over and over in the past few weeks. I post them here for general consideration, and because I think they're good questions worthy of consideration: I also think they kind of show where my congregation (or at least my little clique) is at, faith-journey wise.
1. Why don’t Lutherans speak in tongues, prophesy, or have other expressions of the Holy Spirit as found in Scripture? (e.g., Acts 2, 1 Cor. 12) Why do other Christians?
2. Why is the canon of Scripture closed? Why can’t we add new books to Scripture today? Did God speak to the authors of Scripture but not to us?
3. What does it mean to believe the Bible is the Word of God?
4. If Christianity is true, does that make other religions wrong? Isn’t it a little arrogant to assume God would only give true religion to one group of people? (But if other religions are not wrong, why are we Christians and not adherents of other faiths?)
5. Is hell real? Isn’t God unspeakably cruel to send anyone there?
6. Do people who do not believe in Jesus Christ, or who believe in other religions, go to hell when they die? If not, what happens to them?
6A. What are we, as Christians, to make of people of other faiths or no faith who are exceptionally good people? Don’t they show that you don’t have to be a Christian to be a good person?
7. What is evangelism? Do we have an obligation to do it or is it optional? I thought the only people who evangelized were evangelicals!
Monday, June 23, 2003
CAPTAIN INERTIA HOTMAIL ACCOUNT RECEIVES FIRST BLOG-RELATED EMAIL
which is not offering me free money in a Nigerian bank account or still more p**n*g*ra*hy. (Apparently you shouldn't say the p-word on your site, or you'll get still more spam.) Thanks to Camassia for showing me how to put comments on my site; the box you type text in is a little hard to see, but it's there if you look. Boo-yah!
Sunday, June 22, 2003
"THE HULK" SUCKS LIKE A HOOVER
I kept waiting for him to say "Hulk SMASH puny film critic!" But I guess Ang Lee didn't think that was cool, and instead focused his energy and having every unusual/unnecessary type of wipe, split-screen, and weirdly-moving shot known to man. But at least now my sister won't have to see it with me!
Also, a good friend of mine from high school, who attends medical school in Iowa, recently found out that he has tuberculosis. Not only is this hilarious (what is he, living in a tenement and stitching clothes out there?), it's completely mystifying. I can't wait to find out where it came from. It's also going to continue to be good for a laugh for a while now--since he's TB positive, he might have to go on anti-biotics. Said anti-biotics don't blend well with alcohol--he might have to abstain for the entire six-month run of the drug treatment. I understand my friend is in Iowa City right now crying into his apple juice.
Friday, June 20, 2003
LIVING, VOCATIONAL SITUATION UPDATE, pt. 2:
In theory, I took this summer sublet instead of a real apartment because I wasn't sure I was going to be in New York longer than this summer. But now it looks like even though I'm definitely interested in moving somewhere else, 'somewhere else' is definitely not going to be ready before August 15th. (sigh) Unless by some miracle a dream job hands itself to me before then, I'm looking at moving in August to somewhere else in NYC, and then possibly moving again to another city if a job somewhere else comes through. This is far from the ideal plan.
Part of the other problem is that I've never had to look for a job while I've had a job before, and the whole process so far has been, well, just ass-bustingly difficult. In addition to all the practical obstacles involved in looking for a job, which are substantial, there are privacy issues. No one at work knows I'm looking for another job (except Yannis the Trusty Greek--hey, guy), so I have to do it on the sly, and there's no privacy, so I don't want to look during working hours, so I end up just trying to do it on lunch hours or on weekends or after work. And, fortunately, since my life is remarkably not-busy, all of that time is always available to me. (Note heavy sarcasm during previous sentence.) Sigh.
I know, I know, I'm complaining. But it's just like, ah hell, do I really have to do this? Part of me just really wants to say 'fuck it!' and pack it in at the end of August and move back to Chicago and look for a job from my parents' basement. Which is a far from ideal plan as well, but I guess in depressed and discouraged moments it looks like no worse an option than looking for a job for four or five months while toiling away at my sucky current job. Looking for a job that's enjoyable, challenging, interesting, has long-term career potential, and pays me enough to live just looks like a really, really, really big challenge right now, and I'm not too psyched about that.
I'm gonna go look at those funny pictures of Jesus from a few weeks ago to lift my spirits.
A Written-Out Wretch, Saved by His Steno
OK, my dear sister, Elizabeth. When you ask me to see this movie with you, I'm going to say no, and this review is why. Love, Dave.
EDITED TO ADD: But, when I come home in a few weeks, I will definitely still ask you to see this with me, and if you say no, I won't understand why. XOXO.
LIVING, VOCATIONAL SITUATION UPDATE, pt.1:
Things are actually going pretty well with my new roommates, the two fashion design students. (Oh, jeez. It still feels really wrong to type that, like saying "me and my two roommates, the two taxidermy students.") I was really nervous that living with them would be awkward, no fun, weird--and, mercifully, it hasn't been too many of those things yet. We're definitely very different, but we seem to be getting along. They let me use their stuff (dishes, computers for e-mail checking, etc.), and I chit-chat with them about their day and inquire paternally if they're getting enough sleep. They probably think I'm pretty weird because I don't hit the bars much, and I've outed myself to them as a Christian, which I know they're a little curious about, but besides that, no worries.
Also, in other news, the double bed freakin' rocks. I cannot tell you how much I love and adore the double-bed. It's the softest, most wonderful bed, ever, and I wish I could sleep in it all the time. I'm actually thinking about trying to steal away with it in August when I have to move out.
The only question now is, where the heck am I gonna go come August 15th? I'm trying to shield myself from the bruising reality that, because I opted for a summer sublet and not a real permanent place, I now have to move AGAIN in two short months (denial! denial! denial! i love you, double bed! stay with me!), but even besides that issue, there's this larger question of: what the heck am I gonna do with my life now? Work offered me a promotion a while ago, but they had to rescind the offer because of stupid office-politics-type stuff (ask me about it if you want an interesting lesson into how the non-profit world can be skeezy). So now I'm back in limbo, searching idealist.org and catching the whiff of desperation on my fingertips.
oh, yeah, work. more anon.
Cubs Rumble with Cincinatti Reds, Mess Up Paul Wilson's Face
Ah, the vicarious thrill of a good sports fight. Also known as the "hockey effect." Check out the photo gallery--Kyle Farnsworth wrestling with Wilson, Kyle Farnsworth punching Wilson in the face, Paul Wilson with a bloody nose. Of all the people on the Cubs, the one guy you actually don't want to mess with is this meathead--he's like 6'6", really beefy, and doesn't pitch very well, so he's got a lot of pent-up anger.
The Reds say that Prior started it by throwing behind Jason LaRue...eh, whatever. That may be true or it may be bushwa--in either case, I'll back Mark Prior every time he throws inside to someone, because essentially what he's doing is creating a reputation for himself. Once people know him as a guy who throws inside when he wants to throw inside, whether or not someone happens to be standing there, they'll start to give him a wider berth. (I wouldn't back him if he mercilessly threw at someone's head, but I don't think he does that.) But I think he's got to be well on his way already--I mean, he's already the guy who threw inside to Barry Bonds, so how much more can he intimidate people?
Thursday, June 19, 2003
Google Store -- New - Blogger Hoodie
I actually ordered a Blogger t-shirt a couple days ago, even though I blog so sporadically these days that I can scarcely be considered an actual blogger.
Once again, straddling the line between cool and nerdy.
ChicagoSports.com - Forget cork, Wood plenty
(sound of Dave dancing around office)
Well, if Sammy keeps this up, it'll be a very exciting season. Basically, we've been without our best bat for most of this season--he's either been suspended, recovering from being hit in the head, or sucking. If he comes back and plays well, it'll be really interesting to see how far we make it. If he comes back and plays only so-so, eh, I'll be waiting for football season to start.
Monday, June 16, 2003
BACK IN THE SADDLE
Captain Inertia spent a miserable weekend on the couch and in bed, drinking OJ, taking NyQuil, and watching Goldfinger. But he seems to be back on his feet again, and back in the fray at work.
Things at work are extremely tense--the proverbial fit hitting the shan--but seem to be working out. As usual, the appearance of Ky, the Phenomenally Effecient Vietnamese Information Technology Guy, indicated the resolution of many problems. Anon to all of you, and don't forget to do your estimated taxes! (shudder)
Thursday, June 12, 2003
BEING SICK SUCKS.
Also, it makes things like taking a shower and going to the grocery store feel like huge challenges. I just walked one-half block down to the corner bodega to pick up OJ and cereal, and I feel like Sir Edmund Hillary.
In the meantime, I encourage those who are interested to keep checking out the Telford Work/Camassia historical Jesus stuff (the links should still be good, below), which has apparently generated quite a bit of interest. And yes, Hannah, start a blog! Your random thoughts count!
Wednesday, June 04, 2003
Also, pay no attention to the random link to Google at the top of my page. Some of us are still trying to figure out Blogger.
Telford Work is blogging some responses to The Meaning of Jesus, by Marcus Borg and N.T. Wright. I haven't had time to digest it all, but it looks like a really good intro to orthodox/liberal takes on historical Jesus stuff, which I'm very interested in. Apparently Telford's blog-buddy Camassia is going to be doing the same thing as well, and they'll reply to one another. Interesting.
Also, I didn't read Camassia too often before now, but now I might, because hey, she was the one who notified me about this. It's the funniest thing I've seen in a week. Check out the running caption contest on Camassia's site.
I feel like Luke Skywalker when he found out his father was Darth Vader. I mean, using a corked bat against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays?!?
Monday, June 02, 2003
TOUGH SLEDDING OVER HARD MEAT
Such was my friend Charlie's description of this weekend; I'm not exactly sure what it means, but it seems apt. Moving on Friday night--more on this later--involved darkness, pouring rain, and attempting to park a 10-foot U-Haul moving truck on the crowded streets of NYC. But, mercifully, it's over, I'm ensconsed in Williamsburg (for now) and I'm not too sore. More later.