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yipes!

30 June 2005
I almost forgot... given that it's Thursday and therefore the end of another week of German and that there are only 8 class days remaining...

So
Happy
It's
Thursday

something to chew on

A few links with some food for thought about same-sex marraige:
These links really only deal with the civil issue. To my mind, from a civil perspective, theological questions are quite seperate. (Though that division really only works one way...) If you're a new reader and want some idea about what's been said on this page before, have a look here.

a powerful photo

From a LGBT rights march in Bolivia.

¡viva españa!

Remember me bitching about only cold countries legalizing same-sex marriage?

Yeah, not so much any more! It seems Spain has beaten Canada to the punch. Overruling last weeks rejection of the bill in the Spanish Senate, the lower house of parliament approved the bill which will be come law in a month.

While there was opposition, it seems like it's quite possible to live la vida buena en España. (And it's even in a country where I can navigate the language!)

If you're interested, have a look at the BBC's profile of LGBT marriage/union rights in North America, New Zeland and Europe. Denmark, Norway, Finland, and Sweden all grant registered same-sex couples the same rights as married couples (though Denmark prohibits church weddings). The Netherlands was the first country to grant full marriage rights to same-sex couples, followed closely by Belgium. Germany's laws give inheritance and tennants rights (but not much else) to registered "life partnerships." France has a rather pathetic attempt to grant a few rights, but it is quite wanting with respect to tax rights and a number of other areas. In December 2005, a law in Britian will come into effect granting same-sex couples similar rights to heterosexual married couples.

But, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and soon Canada are really important. While it's nice that other countries and some states grant some rights or similar rights to LGBT folk, the fact remains that in those countries, LGBT folk are still second class citizens. If it's not marriage, it's not equal, the implication being, of course, that LGBT folk aren't fully human. Words matter, especially when they're legal words.

Right.

Stepping down from soap box now.

Off to breakfast and German. Lucky me, eh?

canada is for lovers, eh

28 June 2005
Good news from our neighbors to the north!

Canada is just about to become the third country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage (after the Netherlands and Belgium). It's not a done deal yet, but barring horrible mishap, it may as well be.

For the complete story, have a look at the BBC article and the coverage from The Advocate.

My only question is, why is it that only cold countries are passing this kind of legislation? Granted, Belgium is not as bad as the Netherlands or various parts of Canada... Nevertheless, cold. Why can't we get same-sex unions in more moderate climates?

Hell, if I thought climate had anything to do with it, I'd start taking up a collection to send the Senate north to winter in Saskatchewan.

Foolishness aside, I find myself saying (as I seem to be doing quite often these days), thank God for Canada.

a poem

27 June 2005
It's been a few days since I've posted, and out of some bizarre sense of obligation I feel the need to post something. However, given that all I can think about these days is German, my mind is not exactally brimming with content. So, I decided to post a little of my other writing.

About this piece... I've chosen to post it for a few reasons. For starters, my housemate is in the middle of her clenical pastoral education and she's doing her clencial at the same hospital I did, under the same supervisor, so our conversations are naturally bringing up a lot of memories for me. Secondly, I think this is one of the better pieces I've written and it requires little odd formatting (ilikeeecummingsperhaps a b i t t o o m u c h for myowngood).

Nothing more need be said of this piece than it is a true story.

Hospital Talmud

In simple dignity He sat in a backless white
gown and a leather jacket of his own making, his sleeves
covering marks I never would have expected.
In the corner, his wife is napping in a generic, ward
comfortable chair – its green fabric standing out
starkly in the sterile whiteness of the room.

There he sits, his eyes challenging my office and
my audacity to come speak to him of God
and the care of souls.

I introduce myself and he says,
I know the… oh what do you call it
he raises a hand to stem my answer
the Old Testament far better than you.
“I don’t doubt that at all.”
What of the Talmud – do you know that,
young man?

Taken aback, I mumble something of my own failings at
the Hebrew tongue and the Babylonian Talmud,
finding its pointed dance as impenetrable to
my Anglo-Saxon eyes as the secrets of
Kaballah –
quite unlike his own eyes,
deeply marked with age and pain.
He tells me, I’m Jewish,
but I don’t believe in God.

Oh? I ask – trying my raw hand at pastoral
interest, wanting to ‘touch his pain’
(whether for his own benefit or my own
voyeuristic leanings, I do not know),
secretly hoping this patient will be one of my
curmudgeons – one of my pleasantly grumpy old men,
quite unlike that smarmy, doddering old fart in
room 12 or that neurotic co-dependent baby-boomer
bitch in room 14.
And yet,
he leaves my secret hopes behind with
a single, unpunctuated word

Dachau

Slowly, his story unwinds with mathematical
precision like the string of numbers etched forever
on the wrinkled flesh of his forearm; his
leather sleeve now rolled back to show and tell
not of Talmudic wisdom or hospital anxieties
but of raw survival, affliction and abandonment.

Here was flesh, blood and old-man-smell, with
the pride of a successful life in business, a
legacy to his sons and wounds cut like
trenches scarring his soul
(not to mention the pneumonia which has
brought him to this stark pulmonary ward)
and not some Hollywood blockbuster image
of concentration camps in black and white with a
splash of red.

He talks, talks, talks and tells his story
and the neatly sewn tailors’ hems in a perfect
garment unravel to tears, first mine and then his
as he tells the story one more time and his wife
wakes in her ward comfortable chair –
its green fabric standing out starkly
in the sterile whiteness of the room
– as he tells her story too.

As his story meanders on,
through extermination camps, refugee camps,
and flight to America, only to be drafted into
camps of the Vietnam war.
(Uncle Sam was, for once, merciful
allowing him to serve as a tailor in
Granada instead of as a wild eyed killer
in buggy Asian jungles)
He tells me,
You know, the basic training, it was like going
on holiday to me. Eh, chaplain?

He goes on to tell me of his son’s Talmudic studies,
and last year’s Seder, of the value of Jewish life,
even if there is no God.

And, as his story spins down, he asks me,
Chaplain, can you honestly tell me I should believe
in a God that left me at Dachau’s gates?

There is a pause – a long one – as I inspect the eyelets and
laces of my boots, black, not brown thank God, and
dare myself to look him in the eye with my answer,
not knowing what it will be until it passes my lips,
moving for the first time in almost an hour,

“No.”

And I have put my finger in the holes in His hands.

And he said to me, Chaplain, I like you. Come see me
tomorrow and I’ll tell you more.

And his wife is napping again in the generic,
ward comfortable chair – its green fabric standing
out starkly in the sterile whiteness of the room.


Unlike the other content on A Sop in Wyn which are held under a Creative Common License, the content of this post is copyrighted with all rights reserved.

all the cool kids are doing it

25 June 2005
Take the MIT Weblog Survey

C'mon, you know you want to... If you blog, give the good folks at MIT a helping hand. It takes less than 15 minutes, which, if you're reading this page, I know you have.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, here's a bit on the power law.

is there any way we can enhance your meal...

...by harming an animal?

Much to L. Simpson's delight, apparently not. You will recall that Hong Kong Disney was caught up in a bit of a tiff with some folk over the serving of shark fin soup. The problem being the ecological damage caused by shark fishing. Well, it seems that Nemo won out and shark fin soup will no longer be served at Disney Land in Hong Kong.

a change in plans

23 June 2005
Screw the blue robes and poofy hat. I'm wearing this when I graduate with my PhD. The only problem is, do I wear a matching white beenie or something more appropriate?

3 down, 3 to go

So
Happy
It's
Thursday

feast of st alban, protomartyr of britain

22 June 2005
Since my college days, St Alban has always been one of the saints of the Church that has been close to my heart (Hild, Bede, and Benedict being the other three). Since you're reading about an early British saint on this blog, you won't be surprised to find out that our primary source for Alban is Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People. Today being the commemoration of blessed Alban, I decided to dig up a sermon from around this time a year ago that features him.

The text is Luke 9:18-24.

*** *** ***

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

“Then he said to them all, ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it.’” (Lk 9:23-24)

Even for the disciples, who had not yet witnessed the crucifixion of our Lord and were no doubt a bit confused by his prediction that he would undergo great suffering, be rejected, be killed and be raised again on the third day, even for these followers of Jesus, the image of the cross carried considerable weight. Crucifixion was an all to common part of daily life in first century Palestine under Roman rule.

I strongly suspect the disciples would have shared our discomfort with the notion of daily taking up an implement of death – even in the most metaphorical of ways. And yet, this passage is not just about death – it’s about life, my life, your life, our life together, and what we do with that gift.

In Greek, there are several words for life – all of which have different meanings. The word St Luke uses in this passage is psuche.

Psuche has a wide range of meaning – here, the word means something like the whole person including psyche, relationships, loves, hates, experiences, spirituality… all of our existence. What our Lord is asking for, what our Lord is commanding, is that we give over our whole existence – everything we have, everything we are - for His sake.

This is what it means to take up the cross.

One of my favorite Biblical scholars, Fred Craddock, writes: “A way of life that could be called cross bearing would have to be a life one had ‘taken up’; that is, it would be voluntarily chosen. Arthritis, poor grades, an unhappy marriage, or a child on drugs would not qualify, even though these and other difficulties are sometimes called ‘crosses we have to bear.’ These and all other human hurts are not beyond the compassion of the one who is touched by the feeling of all our infirmities (Heb. 4:14-16), but they are not crosses as spoken of here. A way of life that could be called cross bearing would have to involve denial of self in the service of God. A cross is not sought or pursued, but it was and still is true that following Jesus in the service of God, which translates into meeting human needs, is on a path along which there are crosses, prices to be paid, pain and hurt to be accepted. We are not speaking of death wish here but obedience to the reign of God.” (Craddock. Luke, Interpretation. p. 130)

Craddock is absolutely right: the mundane circumstances of our lives are not our crosses to bear. These circumstances are the arena and stuff of our ministry. They are the space where we come to see the face of God in the face of the other. They are the space wherein we are able to touch our Lord as we care for and minister to each other. But these things are not our crosses.

I think Fred Craddock is absolutely right when he says that we must chose our way of life that is to be cross bearing. We must step into that place where we utterly give up the sense of who we think we are, of trying to convince the world we are who we say we are, and of trying to convince ourselves we are who we want to be.

In this space, labels utterly fall away. Words like liberal and conservative, traditional and progressive, young and old, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islander, gay, straight, intelligent, wise, foolish, skinny, fat, tall, short... All of these things come together to shape who we are and how we interact with our communities and some carry more weight than others, but all of them fall away in the face of the cross.

In the incarnation, crucifixion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ we find the ultimate truth about who we are. More than any label we might give our selves, or any label anyone else might place on us – the one inescapable truth about who we are, about what life really is – it’s that we are the beloved of God, we are the beloved of God called into relationship and communion with God in Christ Jesus through the Holy Spirit.

The more we let go of those pieces of us that the world sees and the more we turn towards Christ within us, the more we become who we really are. The more we lose ourselves in the ineffable love and joy of God, the more all those pieces of us have real meaning because they become God’s tools for God’s work in the world.

On Tuesday, the church will commemorate the martyrdom of St Alban, the first martyr of Britain. Alban, a pagan, lived in Britain during Roman rule and was converted by a Christian priest who he was sheltering from persecution. When Alban was brought before the judge, he was questioned about his family and his race – to which he answered, “know that I am a Christian, and that I carry out the Christian rites.” Alban was martyred for his confession of faith, in his confession, we see an example of the power of what it means to be truly who we are called to be, for St Alban to be who he really was.

While I would wager that there are few, if any, here present called to blood martyrdom – we nevertheless learn from Alban that we are first Christian. We begin to see just how deep this truth runs.

Last week, we had a baptism. As she moved through the waters, she moved through Christ’s crucifixion and death. She, and all that she was, came up from the waters into Christ’s resurrection, just as all the baptized have. This Mystery of Baptism is at the very core of who we are. That we are the baptized means that we have been ingrafted into the very reality of the Triune God, that we are God’s very own, we are God’s beloved.

Dying to ourselves means living into this reality. It means turning away from everything we think we are and everything we want to be in order to be just one thing: the followers of Jesus.

That is an incredible sacrifice: placing all that you have and all that you are on the altar in order to become what God has made you to be. But there is also an incredible freedom in this.

There is an incredible freedom in this faith that we are called to live, because it lies at the very core of our being. St Paul reminds us: “in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise.” (Gal 3:26-29)

Once we have begun to let go of all those things we think we are, we begin to really be free to have those very things because with us they are taken up into the promise of baptism and are transformed into God’s blessings for us and tools for God’s care of the world.

One of my favorite poets is Shams-ud-di Muhammad Hafiz, a 14th century Sufi master. He writes:

Love is
The funeral pyre
Where I have laid my living body.

All the false notions of myself
That once caused fear, pain,

Have turned to ash
As I neared God.

What has risen
From the tangled web of thought and sinew

Now shines with jubilation
Through the eyes of angels

And screams from the guts of
Infinite existence
Itself.

Love is the funeral pyre
Where the heart must lay
Its body.

(Hafiz. The Gift. Trans. Landinsky. p. 69.)

For us, Hafiz’s funeral pyre is the cross and resurrection of our Lord.

In today’s Gospel lection, Jesus’ eyes are already turned towards Jerusalem. He knows what must and will occur. He also knows that the whole countryside is talking about him. The crowds think he may be John the Baptist, or Elijah, or some other prophet of old. Herod wants to see who this man is that is working miracles in the country. Even the disciples are astounded and confused by him after he calmed the storms.

In all of this confusion, Jesus asks what seems to be a simple question: “Who do you say that I am?”

Do you see the imperative in this question? Who do you say that I am?

We cannot answer this question apart from laying down our whole selves because it is in doing that that we most fully and truly confess that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah of God, a messiah that takes up what we have laid at his feet, breathes true life into it, and turns it outwards into creation to proclaim his perfect love.

Jesus does not just ask this question of the disciples who sat at his feet in Palestine.

He also asks the question of us – and we must answer – with all that we have, with all that we are. We must answer a life laid down with the laying down of our own lives.

We must answer Jesus’ question: ‘But who do you say that I am?’”

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

mmm.... slacking

21 June 2005
I scammed (and briefly edited) this from Andrea's page.

1. Does all bottled water taste the same to you?
Definitely not. Poland Springs tastes greasy. Daisani is preferred.

2. Do you wear shoes when you hang around the house or do you barefoot it?
Barefoot. Unless I'm cleaning up after a kitty accident, then it's shoes all the way.

3. If money was no object, where would you go out to eat tonight?
Somewhere in France.

4. List all the things on your bathroom counter without looking...
Moving counter clockwise from my left hand: a comb, my prescriptions, hair goo, a ceramic mug made by a friend from college's mother with my name on it containing my toothpaste and my toothbrush, an orchid scented candle on a tarnished brass base, intensive moisturizer (for my elbows), a glass for water, Clenique Dramatically Different moisturizer, Clenique exfoliating scrub, Clenique men's scruffing lotion, Clenique men's facial soap, anit-bacterial hand soap, Cool Mint Listerine, a bottle of multivitamins, and Lubriderm hand cream. Yeah, I know. And what's worse is, it's a tiny ass counter.

5. Turn around and look behind you, what do you see?
A plant.

6. What's worse, a booger hanging out of your nose or a piece of spinach in your teeth?
Nose booger.

7. If you could invent a new flavor of soda what would it be?
Dunno, I'm really partial to Steaz Green Tea Cola...

8. What's the first section you usually go to when you go to Wal-Mart?
I don't go to Wal-Mart. I go to Target and then it depends on what I need.

9. When is the last time you had a haircut?
Maybe three weeks ago? I know I've had two since the week before April 9, and I was shaved bald the day of the presidential inauguration.

10. What kind of shampoo is in your shower right now?
Aussi Mega (shampoo and conditioner), Garnier Dandruff control, and a bottle of shampoo & conditioner that are supposed to make my brown hair shinier and a bit lighter, but really don't. I need to throw them out but I haven't.

11. How fast can you type on the keyboard?
Pretty quickly, but I haven't clocked myself since I was in high school.

12. What time is it?
9:23 pm

13. What time do you wish it was?
9:23 pm is good. I'm watching one of the few shows that I actually follow.

14. Did you get enough sleep last night?
Nope. Was up late translating Kant then there was some critter outside my window early this morning (around 4am), rising wild hell.

15. What's the worst fashion trend going on right now in your opinion?
Grad student chic, of which I am sublimely guilty.

16. Who is your favorite family member?
Biologically connected? My cousin Merrin & her husband Kevin.

17. If there were no exotic species laws, what kind of pet would you get?
An ocicat. Legal and cool.

18. If applicable, what video games do you play?
Tetris on my cell phone. On the lap top, these days, Age of Mythology and still puttering around with Never Winter Nights.

19. What's your favorite color?
Deep, dark blue.

20. What's your GPA?
I'm between degrees, so I technically don't have a GPA. (German doesn't count, it just keeps me from having to take a German exam.) Once I officially start my doctoral work, I won't have a GPA since PTS doesn't stick number grades on doctoral students.

21. What do you wish it was?
4.0i

22. If you could do anything you wanted to today what would it be?
Spa day.

23. Can you lick your elbow?
No. And, ew, gross.

24. Can you put your leg behind your head?
Nope, had hip problems as a kid. That part of my body isn't what you'd call "flexible."

25. Do you crack your knuckles?
Sadly, every time I make a fist, my knuckles crack. Always have.

26. Favorite Brand of Chapstick?
Burt's Bees.

27. Least favorite food:
Meat.

28. Bubble baths or showers?
Hot shower.

31. Are you allergic to anything?
Yep.

32. Are you an upfront person?
Mas o menos.

33. Have you ever flashed anyone?
Uh, no. But I did moon someone when I was 10.

34. Besides your doctor, has anyone seen you naked?
Yeah, my freshman dorm in college had "gang showers."

35. What kind of gum is your favorite?
I don't really have a favorite, but I favor things peppermint.

36. Monkey?
Yes, please.

37. Favorite Band:
Ani DiFranco, but she's not really a band...

38. How many blogs do you read in a given day?
14. Yeah, I have a problem.

39. Favorite Ice-cream?
Dark Chocolate Orange gelatto from the Bent Spoon.

40. Height
5'11"

41. Like being random:
Ja, mein leapen.

journalistic obligations

As many of you know, I have a deep seated fascination with religious kitsch. While I do have my share of kitsch strewing about 13 V.C., the kitsch addiction manifests here in my compulsive tracking of miraculous apparitions of the BVM and our Lord on food products and masonry.

Granted this is definitely not miraculous, but I share the BBC's desire to connect Toast a la Jacko with the BVM on Toast.

a poem shouldn't mean, but be

20 June 2005
I'm hoping that a quote of substance in the post title will make up for a general lack of substance otherwise...

In light of other blogs of considerable substance (Penultima-Thule, Adventures in Progressive Christianity, and Happiness is a Warm Gun, among others), I am yet again finding myself thinking about what I do with this blog. It continues to be a study break, stress reliever and podium for incoherent ramblings and the posting of random things that amuse me. The meaningful contributions of my friends and colleagues is a keen indicator of the cognitive menudo I keep flinging up on the web. That said, this thing serves its purpose and I periodically get to mess around with a little HTML. So, it may be tripe stew with an Atom feed, but it tastes good.

rant

And now, to satisfy my desire to post something resembling meaningful dubious content, since I had to translate friggin' Kant (And why not? It seems only logical that at the beginning of the third week of a Summer German course, one would translate one of the most dense philosophers in the whole of Western history. Seriously. Why the hell not? I'll tell you why not. It's friggin' KANT. Two words: Geneva Convention. Surely they had something to say about this. Surely... You know what I'm going to do? I'm going to get myself a 1967 Cadillac El Dorado convertible, hot pink, with whale skin hub caps and big brown baby seal eyes for headlights, YEAH! and I'm going to drive myself around in that baby at 115 miles per hour getting one mile per gallon...) Ahem... right... sorry for that outburst. I couldn't let a perfectly respectable McLeish quote stand unchallenged. Where was I? Oh yeah, I had to translate Kant tonight, hence, I give you the surest indication of my state of mind.

/rant

Deep breath.

Ahhh....

welcome to the blogsphere

Hrm... it seems like only yesterday that we were welcoming Father Jason to the blogsphere. Well, today another friend has announced her entrée into the wonderful world of blogging - though from the looks of her page, she's been at it for a while.

So, pay a visit to Lydia at Adventures in Progressive Christianity and welcome her to the blogsphere.

and now for something completely...

...disgusting.

From the people who brought you stories about Jesus appearing on a potatochip, the BBC now presents Gianni Motti's newest work of art: Italian Prime Minister Silvo Berlusconi's fat (yeah, liposuctioned adipose tissue) turned into a bar of soap.

EW!

happy juice

18 June 2005


The farmer's market on 593 (just before I-95) finally got in a batch of organic, unwaxed lemons. And we all know what that means... LIMONCELLO! w00t!

Sadly, I have to wait four weeks before I can finish making it since it takes that long for the lemon zest to infuse into the booze. So, it's securely locked away in the spare closet in the empty room (where cats can't get to it).

In the meantime, we have the consolation of a big ol' honkin' batch of fresh lemonade.

So, my dear readers, if you're around P-town in four weeks (July 16, not that I'm counting), there may just be bloody well will be a limoncello party at 13 V.C.

l'morte de bruce wayne

16 June 2005
I just got back from seeing Batman Begins, and I really liked it (and not in a film-so-bad-it's-good kinda way, viz. Underworld and Hellboy). Among other things, the movie has me really thinking about what the great stories of our culture are. That is to say, what are the narratives that we find ourselves telling and retelling? What are the characters that appear in tale after tale and in so doing, have become a part of our cultural identity?

One could easily look to the world of ancient Greek mythology or to Chaucer for examples of stories that weave themselves in and out of literature and cultural consciousness. Hell, one can look at the relationship between Chaucer and ancient Greek narratives... okay, there are at least seven dissertations there, so I'm going to leave that well enough alone and get back to the 20th century.

I suppose one could say that the question has changed by virtue of the internet, self-publishing, television and film. In one sense, stories have really become rather cheap. On the other hand, the saturation of the marketplace of ideas with tripe doesn't devalue the stories that give voice to the Lebensgefühl of my generation, stories that give voice to our hopes, fears, dreams and our sense of what it means to live.

Perhaps you think I'm giving Batman Begins a bit too much credit... Honestly, I really liked the movie, it was entertaining, but the film qua film isn't what spurred me to this reflection. Batman Begins is the fifth Batman movie to be made since 1989 (beginning with Tim Burton's Batman). This film was the best of the set, though it wasn't nearly as dark as Burton's. Nevertheless, apart from the appeal of sheer profit to be had in the Batman empire, why keep making these movies?

Yeah, Hollywood is totally a money town - but clearly the Batman narrative is a story that people find compelling and is about a character that resonates with people. Hence, I still find myself asking, is Batman our Herculese?

deutsch mmv

15 June 2005
Arbeite bis der schmerz dich zwingt aufzuhören.

cycelists protest fossil fuel dependence

12 June 2005
I share the sentiment, if not the bravado.

these are some of my (least) favorite things

11 June 2005
Why the hell isn't there a descent pizza joint that delivers in Lawrenceville?

There are two of Papa John's within a 10 mile radius and neither of them deliver. There are at least three local pizza joints (one of which sucks) none of whom deliver. The only pizza place that delivers is freakin' Domino's. What the hell?

This sucks.

mcnasty

I'd find this more compelling if I was a meatavore and I actually ate at McDonald's, but still, when fungus rejects food from McDonald's...

ickey, ickey, ickey

09 June 2005
Um, barf?

under the sea

Start here.

To quote a singing crab:
Down here all the fish is happy
As off through the waves they roll
The fish on the land ain't happy
They sad 'cause they in their bowl
But fish in the bowl is lucky
They in for a worser fate
One day when the boss get hungry
Guess who's gon' be on the plate
(Craptacular .midi file available here.)

My only question is, when Disney produces this hand out, which characters will be explaining the cruelty of shark fishing? Pinnoccio, Ariel or Donald Duck?

one down, five to go

Week one of German is done. That which does not kill us merely delays the inevitable.

So
Happy
It's
Thursday.

prophetic power of the sop

Back in April, I posted about an alleged apparition of the BVM on an underpass retaining wall in Chicago. The title of the post was "Our Lady of the Potato Chip." While it's not the BVM, it seems there has been a miraculous apparition of Our Lord on - wait for it - a potato chip. Damn I'm good.

Interestingly, the "Jesus on a Grilled Cheese Sandwich" apparition was also in Florida. Coincidence? I think not.

a sad fashion victim of eco-mania

08 June 2005
I've been riding my bike to work and school now for over a month and have been really loving it. When I got in today after a very hot ride home, I hopped in the shower to cool off and clean up. When I got out and looked in the mirror, I noticed that I have developed a very bizarre tan line. My temples are the only part of my face that are completely covered by my helmet and are therefore quite pasty. The rest of my face has gotten rather tan, even though I have a visor on my helmet to provide some shade (I suspect I'm getting UV splash-back off the asphalt). Mmm... freak tan.

Oh well. When I bike in, I always wear a ball cap for the rest of the day to eschew helmet head, so pretty much the only time my temples aren't camouflaged is at church, and it's not like I'm going to be meeting any men there.

That said, German done.

Sloane sleep now.

deo gratis...

07 June 2005
... for:

Bob Cape
Jim Johnson
C. Leong Seow
Eunny Lee
J. Ross Wagner

this study break brought to you by...

06 June 2005
So, all six of you that read this puttering stream of inane dribble, go and checkout my buddy Jason's new blog: Punultima Thule.

Extra credit for the person who leaves the comment on my page with the most likely explanation of Jason's blog title.

deutsch

German started today and it looks like it's not going to be too terrible. We are moving at a rather breakneck pace, so it's going to take a lot of my time (like at least six hours a day outside of class) but I don't think it's going to be all that painful. I was pleasantly surprised to find how much the Old English is going to help. The cool thing is that the class is shifting from being 2 hours a day, five days a week to being 2.5 hours a day, four days a week. While that does mean that we're going to be covering more material per class (and we're already doing 2 chapters a day), I'm stoked about the opportunity to have some serious slacker time on the weekends. :-)

The class itself is practically over run with seminarians. There are something like twenty students, at least eight of whom are at the seminary. I'm the only Church Historian in the room (though there are some secular historians) - the New Testament department wins with the highest number of seminarians.

And after German's done, I'll only have Italian left to get done.

1337 man, 1337.

chewbroccoli

03 June 2005
El Sacerdotito was correct.

Store Wars is better than The Meatrix.

Mad props, Space Cowboy. Mad props indeed.

now if only i could do that with my dissertation...

An article posted on the BBC news page today speaks of the 30th anniversary of Jaws. While I never really cared for the film, I did find this paragraph quite amusing:

The success of these last-minute alterations became clear during the first preview in Dallas on 26 March when a man in the front row got out of his seat, ran down the aisle and threw up in the lobby. "That's when I knew we had a hit," said [Spielberg].
Wow. Film so good it makes people vomit with joy and pleasure. Uh... ?!?!?

fun with steve-o

02 June 2005
The Joy of Tech almost made me late for work this morning. (Click on the image on the lower right-hand corner of the panel.)

I'm especially keen on Pirtate Steve and Elizabethan-Pimp Steve.

it's like rain on your wedding day

I've decided to take some time this summer to review my French so that it's super sexy (especially since I've got a French exam coming up in September). As I was going back through my book this morning, I found a few sentences arranged in a way that very much amused me (p. 144). While I'm quite aware that these sentences were arranged to exercise the student's ability to distinguish between literal and figurative uses of prepositions of place, read a certain way, this is most amusing:

Le Parti socialiste est à la gauche du centre.

Le Parti communiste est tout à fait à gauche.

Les conservateurs sont à la droite du centre.

Pour trouver l'église il faut prendre à gauche.

grad student olympics

01 June 2005
It occurs to me that if the undergraduate community Princeton University can have the Rude Olympics (the successor to the ill-fated Nude Olympics), then there really ought to be some kind of grad school event... I would suggest the Grad Student Olympics with events like:

The Long Distance Bike Commute: (This event usually occurs when gas prices are over $2.30/gallon.) Competitors begin at low cost housing situated as far from the campus as possible while still being considered "local." They must then bike into campus with a backpack containing the following items: (1) a laptop, (2) notebook, (3) a thermos of coffee or a Nalgene bottle full of water, (4) pens and pencils, (5) a cellular phone, (6) lunch, (7) a folio full of photocopies, (8) at least 2 dictionaries, (9) books. The one that gets to class on time wins.

The 24 Hour Sprint: Competitors attempt to locate and read book that was supposed to be on the reserve shelf in the study room. The book may not leave the library, but it may be creatively "shelved" or buried in a stack of books that have been abandoned by a less responsible patron. The book must be read and the competitors must be ready to comment on the reading by seminar the next day.

The 1,000 Meter Waddle: Competitors begin at the Circulation Desk of the library and must then collect 10 pre-selected tomes of over 500 pages each from various points in the library and bring them all at once to the circulation desk. The first one to bring the books to be checked out without a hernia wins.

The Marathon: Competitors binge on caffeine and carbohydrates while attempting to compose a seminar paper that requires the use of sources in at least four different languages. The competitor who manages to make use of the most non-English sources without actually reading them (while preserving a respectable degree of coherency) in the space of a week, wins.

As I think of other politically acceptable "events" I'll post them. (Read: I came up with a few others that I don't have the chutzpah to post.) Feel free to suggest your own. (I reserve the right to edit...)

and i got paid for this?

m4desktop
Things have been incredibly slow at work lately. The biggest thing to be dealt with is trying to get rid of the tacky paper signs that have been above our Mac video editing workstations. My solution? Put the name of the work station on the desktop. Ten minutes in PhotoShop later (with an only marginally well put together image) and the problem is solved. Wee! The sad thing is, aside from troubleshooting a video import, this represents the only "real" work I've done this morning to earn may paycheck.