Tuesday, November 11, 2008

"Hear that? We're using CODE Names!!!!"

I will fully and readily admit that I don't know much about the Secret Service...though I think that's the point, isn't it?  Is it just me, or does this not make any sense?  Wouldn't they want to keep this information on the down low?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Seriously?  I already can't stand SUVs and this new tricked out Hummer isn't helping to change my mind.  Maybe it's so the rich, white suburban husbands can feel like their wives are safe while driving through the ghetto?  

But, you have to give it to Hummer...the new concept works kind of like a Transformer.  The best part is how you can take off the fender flares for additional clearance on those off road trails.
Right.  For all those housewives going off road. 

Thursday, September 18, 2008

So Tasty...

Guys, I know that Hershey's is not the most best chocolate in the world.  Yes, I said most best. Get over it.  However, Hershey's chocolate is hands down my favorite.  Now I enjoy just about any Hershey's chocolate product, but there is really something to opening a plain old chocolate bar and appreciating the cool, smooth, flawlessness of the bar itself.  

Appreciating the bar itself is only part of the Hershey's experience.  Eating the bar is, obviously, the best part.  As Moira Kelly says in that really bad skating movie of the early nineties, the experience is "almost orgasmic".  Yes, I said orgasmic.  Get over it. 

Anyway, you get my drift.  And as for that bad skating movie, I say it's bad but I will probably watch it anyway if it's on.  It's got DB Sweeney and Dabney Coleman in it for God's sake! Geez. Then they do that whole Pamchenko Twist thing at the end.  

Now you know what to get me for my birthday.  A set of these, though, is always ok too.    

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Mel, Circa...

                                    I look like my mom!!!

                       What do you think, guys?  Yes?  Me too.

               Not too far off from what I looked like in 8th grade...

Fun times, guys.  I did learn, however, that I'd never make it as a blonde.  These, along with 1974, 1980 and 1990 will be up on facebook.    

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

On The Fall

"God does not choose to tell us why He let Satan walk around in the Garden so he could talk to Adam and Eve, and He doesn't tell us why God did not talk to Adam and Eve to kindly counsel them about Satan's deception...And while God told the sad couple in no uncertain terms to not eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, He did not seem to tell them that there was such a thing as a  lie, and such a being as a liar."               -Don Miller 

I find this a curious statement.  It kind of changes the way I see the Fall and humanity's frailness and vulnerability to sin.  It also brings into question God's knowledge of the Fall, his allowance of it, and what greater purpose it may have served if He knew about it and let it happen.  Which, of course, also brings into question free will.  

So.  From my understanding, Lucifer is an angel who gets the boot from heaven because he wants to be God.  To be honest, I'm not entirely sure where this idea comes from.  I wiki'd Lucifer and found a bunch of different ideas.  Either way, Lucifer gets sentenced to earth.  I imagine Lucifer/Satan is probably bitter about the whole thing and wanders about his prison looking for something to destroy because he's so mad.  He happens upon Adam and Eve and successfully convinces them that they can be like God-the same thing he got the boot out of heaven for.  

Adam and Eve, meanwhile, have only ever been in relationship with God and whatever other animals they were surrounded by.  They have never been confronted with evil and at first contact, fail miserably.  Can they be at fault for this?  Of course, they had God's "law" set for them-don't eat from this tree-but did God realize at the point of their failure that His law was not enough?  Did God know when he made them that they would be inherently incapable of keeping His one command?  

I guess I had always thought that God hatched the Jesus plan after the Fall-as a result of it. But what if that was the plan all along, before he ever made Adam and Eve, knowing that He would create vulnerable people that would need Him.   Certainly makes current struggles easier to understand.  

I realize I've made several assumptions, here.  I kind of let thoughts roll to see what came out...feel free, as always, to leave comment. 


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Saved by the Bell Quote of the Day

Thank God for Dinosaur Comics who pointed me in the direction of this little gem of a blog.  I just spent roughly an hour reading through the archives.  Hilarious stuff.  Well done, Steve Carey!  

Saturday, August 16, 2008


In furthering a thought I had a few days ago on what it means to be a Christian, I have been pondering the more specific idea of identity. Not just identity in Christ, just identity in general.

We all have roles that we fill.  Some are inherent roles-son, daughter, brother, sister, etc. Others are roles that are chosen-mother, friend, musician, teacher, husband, etc.  We use these roles to describe ourselves to others in "about me" sections of internet profiles or to a person you might like to date or just befriend.  But those roles, while formational, don't make an identity, do they?

This idea is one I find myself at odds with.  This inner skirmish tends to sometimes produce thoughts like my previous post, where I find myself sort of emotionally numb.  I certainly have many roles that I fill.  Outside of them, though, I don't know my own identity.  

Often, it's easy to look to others to tell me who I am.  I find validation and approval and thus value in others views of me.  When I feel I don't have the approval of others it puts me in a funk and I get to feeling worthless-though not in the dramatic way that the term sounds...just that it makes me question worth, which then leads to identity.

When I strip away the roles and other's opinions, I find it scary to look at what is left.  This is more a thought exercise than something that can actually be done, as it's sort of a romantic notion to be able actually strip ones self of all their roles.  But once you begin to conceive of yourself in this way, you get to looking at the kind of person you are as opposed to what you do.





Thursday, August 14, 2008


I came across Romans 10 today as part of this week's common Lectionary readings.  I read through the whole chapter but verses 9 and 10 really stuck out.  I read it a few times and then it kind went on a bit of a rabbit trail from there.  

Here's the rabbit trail.  What does it mean to "believe something in your heart"?  Are you supposed to have some sort of feeling associated with that particular belief in order to authenticate the belief?  

Here's a for instance.  At Artisan we often use a creed as a confession of what we believe.  I would say that at a very base level, I believe those things that you find in a creed.  But I don't necessarily feel any connection to it (my beliefs) beyond a sort of academic level, or I just notice that I feel kind of dissociated.    

Likewise, I feel sort of dissociated from much of life these days. Almost, but not quite, fully numb.  Not quite because I do still feel anger very well.  But other than feeling anger, I feel separate from everything else.  This is not for lack of things around me that I could feel good about.  It's more that I am kind of an observer to those things rather than a participant in them.



Friday, August 08, 2008

Hitting the Pool

I decided that I need to get into shape.  I've lost about 15 pounds-back to where I was before I had Emily.  While that's great, I get tired just going upstairs to the girls room.  I googled my old swim team coach which promptly displayed a website with his address and phone number. Hope no one bad is looking for him:)  

Anyway, I called him up and had to leave a message and didn't expect that he'd actually call back, but he did!  He had no idea who I was even though I left my maiden name on his machine. He remembers my brother, though, who may or may not have had him as a math teacher.

Either way, he gave me some pointers and a loose pool workout to get started on and he'll be sending me some dryland workouts, hopefully including the medicine ball regimen we used to do.

Now I'm sure that any people who happen upon this blog, regularly or otherwise, could care less about the fact that I need to get in shape.  I only post this here in hopes that since I wrote about it, I have to do it.  Plus, I just got a card giving me free access to MCC's pool for a year.

So now I have to go whip myself into shape.  Or, as Devo would put it, I must whip it! 

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Here's something I've been thinking on for a little.  What does it mean to be a Christian?  I've done an excellent job at naming things that I strongly dislike about Christianity and, therefore, Christians as well. Christianity doesn't necessarily imply Christians, but do you have Christianity without them?  

The term 'Christian' carries both positive and negative connotations.  If I were to tell someone that I am a Christian, it will bring up an image in that person's mind (whether positive, negative or indifferent) about what they think of Christians/Christianity.  That person has little choice but to ascribe those thoughts and feelings to me.  

So is there anything that is completely objective about being a Christian?  

To kind of define the word itself, I take the term to mean that a 'christian' is someone who associates or identifies him/herself with Christ.  Identifies as in to find an identity in Christ. Much like an American lives in America, makes America his/her home, has a citizenship, supports American ideals, and is surrounded by other Americans, a Christian identifies with Christ in this way.  (S)He lives in Christ, boasts a citizenship, supports Christ-like ideals, is surrounded by other Christians, etc...

Can it really be that simple?  What if it were?  What if everything I did was based simply on this definition?  

The image of Christians has become so perverted that it takes some thought to really figure out what, exactly, it means to label oneself as such.  Once you strip away connotations (which may not be entirely possible), you're left with a definition that, I think, begs you to do something with.  If I indeed am those things, then what? I can't ignore it.  I am compelled to move, if only even to simply try to figure out what the definition means in a practical way.


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Come on, feminists... you have to admit this is kinda funny.   

Granny Call

Harriet Kenyon Call

I was thinking about my grandmother this morning. She was a pretty awesome lady who did some kick ass things in her lifetime, the most notable (from what I know) being that she was a WASP.

My dad has shared some pretty crazy stories about his mom who was an excellent cook, painter and pianist as well as a freaking pilot in World War II. From his stories and from my own memories of her I get an excellent picture of a woman who loved fiercely and who lived life for all it was worth.

Hers is a legacy I hope to live up to.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Stop Consuming

I came across this website because I saw it on a shirt on one of the members at Artisan and briefly overheard that member describing it to someone who had asked about it.

Stopconsuming.org seems, at first glance, to be part of a movement to raise awareness about the growing culture of consumerism in American churches and American Christians.  This idea, of course, is something that has been bugging me lately.   

Anyway, I think that the Shema movement (which is the movement associated with the website) wants to encourage people (Christians) to get out of a consumers mindset and go do something-no matter what that something is-for the sake of Christ.  

I'm not going to jump into any movement for the sake of being in a movement.  I'm not that kind of activist.  I'm not any kind of activist, really.  Rather, I think I am one of those consumers. This could account for my disgruntled-ness as what bothers me about others is the same thing that bothers me about myself.  I'm not doing anything. I sit at church and compare bands and judge sermons and then leave relatively unchanged.  

I wonder if I've become fat with Jesus or overfilled. A glass that has been overfilled with water spills over and creates a mess. Indeed, water is necessary.  But too much water is destructive.  I wonder if this is my problem.  I'm overfilled and instead of doing something with all the excess, it has become destructive.  I am cynical, overly critical, angry, arrogant and lazy.  

So now I just need to figure out what to physically do.  I don't know if being angry at "x-brand Christianity" means I should do something about x-brand Christianity or if I'm mad at x-brand because I am x-brand to some extent.  In that case I should do something about being x-brand. Maybe it is a little of both.  I guess I'll let you know when I find out.

As always, feel free to leave comments, especially if you know a little something more about this Shema thing.         


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Countertops a Cancer Risk?


To be fair, I didn't actually read the article, but the headline from Yahoo! News made me laugh a little.  Plus the headline is enough to spread sensationalist rumors.  Who needs to read the article?!

Next week:  "Licking granite countertops has been shown to cure cancer!"

Turns out you can't breathe near the countertop-that causes cancer.  But licking the countertop while holding your breath will cure that same cancer. 

Now what?

Well, that last post was certainly cathartic.  I had been dwelling on these thoughts for some time but found it helpful to place them on record.  But upon rereading that post again this morning, I came to the conclusion that to dwell any longer here would do a great disservice not only to me but to others as well.  

I was surprised when I used the word hate yesterday.  The sentence "I hate this brand of Christianity" was typed as it had been thought.   I paused afterward to decide whether I really meant that or not.  Of course, the next sentence revealed that I did mean to use that word.  Though today, I question whether or not what I feel toward this group of people is actually hatred.

True hatred is a pretty raw and ugly thing.  It drives men to kill one another, or wish for another man's death in ones heart.  People say love is blind and I think hatred is too.  When you are full of hate you cease to be able to see any other way but hatred.  It's consuming and its effects are devastating not only to the person being hated but the person hating as well.  

So do I truly hate the brand of Christianity I described yesterday?  Maybe not so much.  I do not wish death upon these people.  But anger is not out of the question.  I see an injustice in the way these people treat others and it makes me angry.  In their arrogance people get trampled.  Perhaps a little like I trampled them yesterday in my own arrogance and pride.  
Much of the brand of Christianity I wrote about yesterday is based on my old church, which is probably of little surprise.  There are days when I wish I could go back and tell off the preacher and force him to understand that the way he goes about church and pastoring hurt people.  But I know that my words would mean nothing to him.  I can't force him to understand anything.  Nothing would change in his world by anything that I would say.  It would be of little use and probably only make me angrier to do such a thing.  

So what do I do with this anger?  I don't entirely know.  Only that I need to do something with it or I'll just be bitter and angry the rest of my life.  Which isn't really an attractive option...


Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I googled 'skubala' to make sure I got the spelling down and the description of the first match simply said "skubala means shit."  Heh.  I hear, though, that Jesus uses it for compost so I'm banking on that, because I have a lot of skubala to wade through.  I realize this post is long, but bear with me here, and please add to the comment box. 

Recently, I wrote a post entitled Jesus in the Amazon.  You can read over it if you want as it is loosely related to what I'm about to write.  The academic dean of the Bible college that I attended *&#$ years ago commented that my "pessimism about the gospel is disturbing, to put it mildly."  I would contend, however, that I'm not pessimistic about the gospel.  I'm pessimistic about Christianity, of which I am a part.  

More specifically, my beef lies with a particular brand of Christianity.  It's not a particular denomination as such.  It's the brand that only shops at Alpha and Omega bookstores, only listens to KLove, sends its men to Promise Keepers, its women to Women of Faith (so they can learn how to be more submissive and therefore a better Christian wife and mom),and its children to CIY conferences.  It teaches that the place of the woman is at home cleaning house and homeschooling the kids.  It won't come right out and say that, though, but by practice you know it's the true Christian way.

It's the brand that boasts megachurches with worship teams that are larger than Artisan.  And don't all 50 vocalists look so sincere with their eyes closed and hands raised to the ceiling?  None of it sounds any good or, for that matter, looks good in a gymno-sanctuary.  The buildings look the way they do to attract wealthy businessmen and their Stepford wives.  All of this done to the glory of Christ?  Really?  

There is little depth here except depth of pockets.  Really, though.  How deep can you go before you upset the business man and his pocketbook?

This is the brand of Christianity that needs to be right.  They educate themselves in colleges so that they can affirm their positions and win any theological debate.  Homosexuals, people who have left abusive and poisonous marriages, Buddhists, Muslims (especially), people baptized as infants or sprinkled as an adult be damned.  They are wrong!  And we are right.  It's the brand that teaches you what to think, not how to think for yourself.  This is because thinking for yourself would cause all kinds of problems once you think of something a little differently than they do.  

This is the brand that sends missions teams to the 10-40 window of the world to feel better about themselves and to spread not the gospel but to spread American ideals, American democracy, American culture under the guise of capturing the world for Christ.  If you scroll down far enough in the link, there is a picture of the 10-40 window and a list of all the "unreached" populations.  You'll find, though, that they aren't really unreached, they just aren't Christian.  They are Muslims and Buddhists and Hindus and Jews.  At that point it seems less like missions and more like the Crusades.

I hate this brand of Christianity.  While hate is a strong word, it is exactly the word I intend.  I hate that I have been a part of this brand.  I want to completely dissociate myself from it because I hate the arrogance it produces.  Because it has produced that kind of arrogance in me.

So, part of my spiritual formation plan is to avoid throwing the baby Jesus out with the bathwater.  I know that not all of Christianity is as I have described.  So I'm wading through the skubala in hopes that Jesus will in fact take it and turn it into something useful, and that in wading through it I can, myself, find something wonderful about Christianity that I can agree with.  


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Here Goes...

Recently, I signed a membership covenant with Artisan Church.  Part of this covenant is a commitment on my part to ongoing spiritual formation.  I was asked to make a loose plan of how I would see out my formation over the next month, 6 months and year.  I wrote down some things and then ultimately decided that this was something that I needed to give more thought to at a later time.  Now that I have finally graduated, taken my last exam and have nothing else to do until I get my scores, a later time has come.  

In filling out that formation plan, I realized that I have some serious church baggage to work through.  In some ways I neglected to work through it because I was using it to fuel my drive to get through school.  Which I did, quite successfully.  So...suck it, people who thought I'd fail!  

In other ways I neglected to work through it because it's just plain easier to be angry than to forgive and move on.  Also, I wasn't sure at the time what I'd be moving on to or if there was anything, spiritually, for me to move on to.  So i just stayed where I was because I knew it and it served a purpose.

But the "I got baggage" excuse has outlived its usefulness and it's time to let go of things that happened years ago.  I've no idea what that looks like.  

I decided that I would make some sort of consistent effort to work through some of this spiritual crap that has been bogging me down.  I'm not setting lofty goals, here, like "I'm going to read a book of the Bible every day starting with Genesis until I hit Revelation" (or most likely until I get bored in Numbers).  That plan never works for me.  In fact, I think the only goal that I am setting is to start and then continue.  

I'll probably write about some of my attempts here for the same reason I posted about the Amazon tribe.  Engaging in dialogue about some of my grievances may provide viewpoints I had not considered or had considered but rejected in my mind.  A benefit of community, hey?

So with feelings of reverence, awe, fear and uncertainty, here goes!

Monday, July 21, 2008

I want that...

This, friends, is a Wurlitzer 200.  As much as I love my keyboard and all the great sounds it produces, I will eventually spend money on one of these here electric pianos.  Violet Mary will sell more albums if I walk onto stage and play one of those, guaranteed.  

Thursday, July 10, 2008


I really enjoy watching someone who is really good at their job doing their job.  I should add that I like it, mostly, when the person who is good at their job enjoys their job.  Which is why I will never watch any other news station but WROC here in the Roc because of Scott Hetsko, the chief meteorologist.  His enthusiasm about weather is so attractive.  I want to watch the weather report because Scott Hetsko freakin loves the weather.  
Plus, he's awkward.  It's endearing.  And he has a clip of himself making a cloud on the WROC/Fox website.   


Sunday, June 29, 2008

Music Times is Happy Times

Time for my susquecentennial musical update.

New purchases this weekend include the soundtracks for Pulp Fiction and Singles. Vinyl purchases of the weekend include: Songs from the Big Chair by Tears for Fears, Synchronicity by The Police, So by Peter Gabriel and Siamese Dream by the Smashing Pumpkins.

I also managed to find a Round About Midnight demo in the dollar bin at the Record Archive along with a kick ass polyester shirt with purple stags on it.

Albums that I am currently playing ad infinitum are The Bends by Radiohead, Everybody Loves a Happy Ending by Tears for Fears and Achtung Baby by U2. Continuum by John Mayer has also been getting some significant play time.

And there you have it. I really enjoy good musical art. It is so satisfying to listen to a great album.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


I've been enjoying the past few weeks getting to know some of the deaf members of the community at Artisan. I'm getting a little faster at fingerspelling and more confident with my vocabulary. However, when I'm learning a new sign I noticed that I will verbally ask for clarification in a very loud voice...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Off Guard

Sometimes a word spoken or a lyric sung will catch me off guard
and I'll think of you
For days I'll see your face, hear your distant voice,
even catch a glimpse of your old car around town
I'll wish that you were here
and I imagine if you could you'd wish the same
These days I imagine more than I remember
And hope that we will one day meet face to face
so I won't have to rely on shady memories
and thin images that I conjured up while you were far away.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wax Museum

"Armpit, you remember razor don't you?"


"NO! You can't ever be friends with wax again!"

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Saturday Morning

My lazy Saturday morning thoughts (because you asked....or didn't):

-It's lazy because I should be studying and I'm not. My motivation is dwindling. Suck it, delayed gratification!

-Still having a love affair with Tears for Fears album "Everyone Loves a Happy Ending".

-Why do I keep choosing books that offer a promising synopsis on the back cover but don't deliver?

-I need to go get my keyboard from the church building right now but am unmoved to do so.

-I'm grateful to be on the other side of a crazy few days.

-I'm surprised at how pessimistic and negative I have become about Christianity and the Christian experience. I think this is idea will show itself in a more thought out post at a later time.

-What should I eat for breakfast or, because it is 10.55, should I just wait for lunch?

-I never learned the correct way to type so anytime I type the word 'just' it comes out jsut and I have to go back and correct it.

That's it. Aren't you glad you asked....or didn't?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Suck It, Borders

Now I know I should have known better, but I couldn't help myself. I was drawn into an ad for a $500 gift card to Borders. If you have had any contact with me in the past 6 months or so, you would think that I might want to get in on this deal. You would be right.

I figured I'd have to fill out some survey and participate in some offer and I'd be good to go. I took their dumb survey and was shuffled to the page where I pick an offer. I already had it in mind to do a Blockbuster deal since they always have one of those (which they did). I chose Netflix instead and then was shuffled to another choose an offer page.

Turns out you have to do 4 offers!!! As much as I will probably enjoy Netflix for the 2 weeks that I have the free trial, I don't want any Raw Minerals that promise to even out my complexion or to lose 25 pounds in 25 minutes on the Oprah Winfrey diet. Sheesh!

At least I didn't do something totally impulsive and buy a Shark vacuum cleaner from an infomercial....oh wait.....

Thursday, June 05, 2008


A shot of Barack Obama doing knuckles. Pretty hip for a politician. Maybe it's the extra push off the cliff he needs to clinch the Presidency. Doubtful that McCain (who's he?) will look cool doing knuckles. He'd have to come up with a gesture of his own but it'd still be kinda lame because he didn't think of it first. Plus everyone knows that knuckles beats chest bump in a game of knuckles, chest bump and not yet invented gesture. Kudos, Obama...you're the bomb.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Jesus in the Amazon

Every once in a while a headline from Yahoo! News actually piques my interest. Today they posted aerial pictures accompanying a brief article about an "uncontacted indiginous tribe in the Amazon." The article notes that there are some 100 uncontacted tribes like the ones pictured throughout the world. Only 100? Have we really explored every place there is to explore on this earth and deduced that there are only about 100 tribes that have been untouched by civility?

Second, and more the focus of this post, now that we are more aware of at least this one particular tribe and its whereabouts, do you suppose that some missionary is going to go evangelize to these people? All sarcasm aside, should they be evangelized to? I don't think it's necessarily arrogant to say no, but I'm not sure I wouldn't say yes.

The word evangelism itself brings up an image that makes me uneasy. In my mind I see evangelism as brow beating and evangelists the brow beaters, wielding the Bible like a weapon. It reminds me of my Intro to Evangelism class at Cincinnati Bible College where we were to "evangelize" to 2 people during the semester and write up a report about it for a grade. One of the criteria of the report was to note whether or not I thought my evangelism worked. Did the person I evangelized to "come to Christ" as a result of my evangelism technique? I fear that this is the mindset that will bring a missionary or even a whole group (oh, I mean team) of missionaries to "bring Jesus to the ends of the earth." In this case I am comfortable in thinking that this tribe is fine just as it is and is, in fact, better off without the missionary team.

On the other hand, what do we do with verses like Acts 1:8 and Acts 13:47 and any number of other passages that speak to taking the message of Jesus to the ends of the earth. I guess it depends on your view of salvation. If this tribe never knows about Jesus how can they be held accountable for it? No doubt this tribe worships something, and something that makes perfect sense to them. Does God accept their genuine worship even though it may not be specifically directed toward him because this tribe does not specifically know his name?

Should a missionary go in and teach them about Jesus? How would that change that tribes way of life? Does it matter that their way of life was changed if they now know about Jesus? What if that knowledge changes the tribe for the worse because it could confuse what they've always known or cause divisions in the tribe between those who may have accepted the knowledge and those who may have rejected it. Then there's a whole new cycle of the acceptors thinking they are better than the rejectors, and oh the rabbit trails this takes you down.

I didn't even address the bit in the article about how the tribe and others like it are in danger of losing their land because civilized people are knocking down all the trees. At that point there's more of a justice aspect that enters the picture rather than a salvific aspect.

Ultimately my question is simple though the answer, if there is one, is not so much. How does God/Jesus apply to this tribe of people?

Wednesday, April 30, 2008


There was an Amerks fan that used to scream that really loud at Amerks games and spill his beer all over the place.
At any rate, now that the Pittsburgh Penguins are in round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs I'm very interested in hockey. When I was a kid my father, uncle and grandfather were huge Penguins fans and it rubbed off on my impressionable mind. I don't really follow the teams anymore, but I'm hella nostalgic right now. The last time the Pens won the Cup it was in 92. I'm pretty excited that they are in the running again as they have had a slew of pretty rough seasons. Go Pens!!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

In the News...

Headlines from Yahoo! News' featured news articles from today:

1. Showdowns and Sightings: The Dems get defensive, a rare creature rears its head, and a movie star mourns her father.
2. Second 'G.I. Joe' vixen revealed
3. The top 5 list of sports dumbest on-field injuries
4. Why the pope wears ruby red shoes

It's GOLD, Jerry!

One of my professors brought this to clinic last week to dip her apples in. It's a surprisingly good combination! One of my classmates said she always thought Nutella was French because she ate it at her grandmother's house (who is French). I always thought it was a German product because I had eaten it there when I was 8, and all my folks crazy German friends swear by it. My teacher didn't care where it was from, only that it was delicious. Which it is. But I was curious about its origins so I turned to wiki, which never disappoints. Turns out (despite the German label in the picture) it is Italian. If you've never tried Nutella please use it as an excuse to come to my house. I just bought some an plan on having it as soon as I finish this post.

Monday, April 14, 2008

No Country

I really enjoy Coen Brothers movies. Even when the subject matter is comedic they seem to approach each project tastefully and with respect to their art. No Country for Old Men is no exception. Since I am not a movie critic I won't attempt to critique the film here. Suffice it to say that it is one of the best movies I've seen in a long while, in that hours after watching it the characters are still in my mind-especially the psychopathic killer, Chigur. Somehow I connected with him than any of the other characters. I'd like to hear some other opinions from people who have seen the film to see if it struck a chord with you as much as it did me.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I'm Building a Henge

From Yahoo! News' section entitled: Odd News. Indeed. A man from Australia is building a replica of Stonehenge. Why? "Because I can." I wonder who he will convince to roll over the massive stones on tree logs from England. "10,103 miles in this day and age? I don't even know where I live anymore!"

Friday, March 21, 2008

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


I've recently started listening to WXXI again. It's been a while since I've tuned in but I've found it to be the salve for my rocked out ears. I grew up listening to classical music and really enjoyed it as a kid, oddly. I genuinely liked the music I learned in my piano lessons (not so much practicing, though). I very much still love to play these pieces. I find I can draw much more emotion out of myself and my audience in playing Beethoven than in something I've written myself. I get lost in it. Without words I find it frees the listener to absorb the fullness of sound and to truly feel the music literally as you sit in a concert hall and figuratively. It becomes wide open to interpretation as you imagine what the context this piece was born from. It seems as though emotions and passions are intensified because the composer has found a way to convey them wordlessly.

Monday, March 10, 2008


Have I ever mentioned that I don't care for stupid people? I care even less for stupid people who are mean. The only reason I think these people are still around is because our society seems to like helping stupid people feel they are smart and deserve jobs in doctor's offices. For instance, the wretched secretary of one Dr. Strangelove (names have been changed to protect the innocent). Now I'm pretty sure that I'm supposed to have a God-like attitude and show this person some true God-like love. That's probably the reason she has gotten this far in life. I think it is cruel to let her go on believing that she is someone special. I think she is a perfect example of why survival of the fittest is a concept that has some merit. If society worked this way she would have been done away with eons ago and wouldn't be crapping up my day. Needless to say that if I were lying in a ditch covered in petrol on fire I wouldn't call Dr. Strangelove.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Dear supposed literary genius William Faulkner,
WTF?! Because of your reputation as one of the great writers of the day, I decided to pick up a copy of "The Sound and the Fury" thinking it was a book I should know. I started the book several days ago and have managed to read a whopping 19 pages (technically 16 since the Norton's Critical Edition begins your story on page 3). Please note that I am of about average or slightly higher than average intelligence. I'm not slow, but I'm not tipping the scales on the genius side either (as you probably noted from my atrocious grammar). That being said, I don't get your art. Who is telling the story? I've counted three different first person accounts so far. What's with the italics? You don't use them in any way I've ever understood. What's the plot? So far it has yet to be determined. There is a new character in ever sentence, it seems, but you haven't really introduced them. There is no timeline. I can piece enough information together to understand that you are jumping back and forth around some event (that you haven't yet disclosed). Sometimes you are writing before this supposed event and sometimes you write after it. You don't let me know when you are switching either, you just assume I've come along with you. I guess I will give you the benefit of the doubt because you are William Faulkner for God's sake, but I hope that you will resolve some of these issues as the story unfolds...if there is one to unfold. Thanks for reminding me that I should have paid better attention in school.

your mom

Friday, February 15, 2008


The scope of my last semester's study of Dental Hygiene (the course not the program as a whole) covers the topic of Ethics and Jurisprudence. In 4 weeks of textbook reading, website searches and classroom discussions I have discovered that I'm not sure I like the business of dentistry. Those who are employed in the field of dentistry are expected by the dental profession and by the public at large who receive dental "services" to uphold a code of ethics. This is all well and good. I have read and found great wisdom in the code of ethics for my profession and will have no problem adhering to what seems to be a reasonable set of principles that will guide and govern my practice. This code, however, seems only to exist in a dream world. I have left class every Friday feeling like my contribution to the health of the community bubble has been savagely crushed by fear of litigation and of dentists who are businessmen, not public servants-or at least individuals who are concerned with the overall welfare of their patients. Codes of ethics have been replaced by what insurance companies will pay for and by how much malpractice insurance you have. Yet we are still expected to uphold the code. I am not interested in working for a dentist who has no problem sending a patient away because he can't pay for a procedure that he needs (because thats super ethical right there). Nor am I interested in spending the first few years being afraid that I'm going to be sued because a guy with gingivitis bled while I cleaned his teeth. Here's where hypocrisy fits in. I wanted to be a hygienist because I was attracted to a stable and ample paycheck and and environment that allows me to spend time with my family. Oh yeah, and I want to make sure people are healthy too. Having almost finished school I still like the idea of having a nice paycheck, but now realize just how important my role is in keeping people healthy and preventing disease. I also have just realized how scared I am to find a job and to find one where I don't have to choose between my personal values/ethical code that I have taken on and ultimately selling out (working for a businessman) for a paycheck. I guess I'd have to decide if the paycheck is worth it. I could work for an inner city clinic, though that has it's own red tape issues probably just as frustrating as the ones I've just described. Though I have to say, I'm tired of being poor. I don't need to be rich by any means-but I also don't want to have to borrow from the family or throw hundreds of dollars on a credit card that I will spend 3 years paying off because my oil pan needs to be replaced....oi. Such weighty thoughts for a Friday evening. I'm going to ignore them now and watch American Gladiators.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Thank You, Captain Obvious

Kudos again to Yahoo! news for excellence in finding useless information. It appears that the National Institute of Health has funded a study on scratching and its effect on the portions of the brain. "They scratched 13 healthy people with a soft brush on the lower leg on and off in 30-second intervals for a total of five minutes."
The results: "'It's possible that scratching may suppress the emotional components of itch and bring about relief,' Yosipovitch said." Well, that's a load off now isn't it? I get pretty emotional about my itching. I like how he worded his results-scratching may supress itching. Researchers noted that "the study is limited because people were not scratching in response to an actual itch." I guess they can't just sit around waiting for people to get an itch. Maybe the subjects could watch The Seven Year Itch with some sensors on their heads or something so they can think about itching.
At the end of the article, almost as an aside (much like it is here), they let readers know how the study might actually be useful: "...understanding what goes on in the brain may lend clues about how to treat people tormented by chronic itch, including people with eczema and many kidney dialysis patients." If knowledge is power, I wonder what countries I can take over with this information.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Satellite Pt. 2

"Disabled spy satellite threatens Earth" The grim headline just in from Yahoo! news. Officials report that the satellite can no longer be controlled, may contain hazardous materials and they have no idea where it might hit sometime in late February or March. A little vague on the details. Did Yahoo just hire a writer from the Weekly World News? Is the hazardous material that could be on this satellite really the remains of Hitler? "Appropriate government agencies are monitoring the situation" Appropriate government agencies? I'm beginning to feel better. Really what they mean to say is "We don't know jack." And folks- don't tell. This information is classified as secret. At least important details such as where this thing might land...will I be late to school one day because a hazardous freaking satellite containing beryllium dropped from the sky onto my car?! The article goes on to say that breathing beryllium can cause chronic, incurable respiratory problems. Which kind of respiratory problem? "No ma'am we can't divulge that information at this time. It has been classified as secret." Listen, pal-didn't your mom ever tell you secrets don't make friends? Of course you won't have any friends left anyway because they are all dead from this satellite that fell from the sky crushing them beneath. Many thanks to Yahoo! news for a sensational story. "This paper contains facts. Pregnant man gives birth....that's a fact!"