Showing posts from December, 2005

Three Things Thursday (again with bonus)

1) I discovered M.I.A. and her album Aural listening to Napster's top 99 of the year; besides one song I hate, I think this thumps. I'm pumping it through my computer sound system (including the Boston subwoofer) while I grade. It's techno-ish and not for everybody, but every little bit helps as I slog through the stacks of blue and white papers.

2) A very good friend of mine, the great Mike D., is coming to town tomorrow and this is very cool. For several years now we've talked for an hour on the phone every week, shared really, and any f2f time is greatly appreciated. Plus, he's bringing wine from my favorite shop.

3) Sorry to get serious, but my break with fundamentalism is becoming much more defined. It has taken me a long time. When I hear some people talk about 'biblical' principles for things like parenting I get queasy. I'm most upset about corporal punishment of children right now, James Dobson and Solomon's tragic legacy to well-me…

Eucastrophe 1.0

after the last post my mood dropped, hard and fast. Talking about Robert, even after all these years. I know I haven't told that story up here yet in full, but I will. It's not an easy one to tell.

Being home alone all day (I drove to S's work to bring her dinner just now) and the semester ending...often tough for me emotionally. I started getting anxious, a little obsessive, some depression. I knew why, especially when I talked to S about it just a little at her work.

Why do I mention it here? It helps me to do so for one thing. But also there is the bright news. Just a few minutes ago an older couple in our EFM called to ask us to dinner at one of the best, if not the best, French restaurant in my county. I've been there three times, once for my fortieth birthday (which was my last time there). The wife asked if we could go and I hesitated...'but it's our treat!' 'What did you say?' 'It's our treat.' Wow. S and I are complet…


Plodding through final essays before Christmas...reminds me of 'slouching towards Bethlehem.' I hope to be done by Friday! Maybe sooner. The last week I've done nothing but vacate, and it was sorely needed. Yesterday, in fact, I snowboarded. In keeping with a typical post for me, my story is as much about the animal Fear as it is about the sport itself, but it's a tale I'd like to tell.

I never skiied. (Is that the past tense of ski?). Well, once. Growing up my parents didn't have money and neither of them ever imagining skiing as far as I know. I was never on snow at all until college when I went with Ironsulfide and Scooter. You know the stuff people tell you when you don't ski or have any gear: yeah, just scotch guard some jeans, wear my old gloves, you can rent in town for cheaper, you don't need a lesson.

You don't need a lesson.

It was actually later than college when I went because I was seeing Robert and I'm sure I wasn't l…

Three Things Thursday (Bonus Edition)

Thanks to Sherry as I steal her idea for today. Also for Funkiller's pasta story, which inspired me too.

1) S and I had a wonderful talk last night; nothing momentous, just sharing feelings and thoughts from the day even though it was late (we had EFM) and we should have fallen asleep; the kind of talk we don't get often enough. She told me a day or two before that her definition of a healthy relationship was one that is restorative. Ours has always been that at one level or another, and it is becoming more intimate with every season that passes. We're growing up, funny to say, slowly getting close despite the fear and anger, learning to identify and gradually change learned unhealthy patterns...restoring each other. Her work with children (she's interning as part of her hours to be a therapist) is changing our life at home. Thanks be to God, who never ever abandons his children in life or death. Selah.

2) I've decided I don't have to worry about Ehrman&…

Wednesday's Child

I wanted to respond more fully to Victor's well-written comment below, but it will have to wait. Briefly, the idea that mid-life spirituality derives from disillusionment with media is very interesting. My own story is that I've had a lifelong obsession/interest/fascination with religion and I wonder how many other factors enter at mid-lie: awareness of mortality; diminishment of physical beauty and to some degree, appetite; in the West, financial leisure to ponder...the list is long. Victor deserves better treatment than I can give now; I may be able to come back at some point. I have ordered the recommended film.

And on suffering:

Driving to work today listening to "Fresh Air" I heard Bart Ehrman discuss his new book Misquoting Jesus. Ehrman is a "happy agnostic" who began as an Episcopalean, became a fundamentalist/literalist, and then, after studying ancient languages and NT manuscripts, gradually lost his faith. He now teaches at Chapel Hill Ehrm…

Tuesday Recuperations

I think of all the huhu made over Million Dollar Baby, all the money and awards, and I can't understand how 21 Grams made so little money. It's the best film I've seen all year.

Further kudos to the older film The Ice Storm, which we rented a few months ago. We've been working our way through Hitchcock also, and he's good, but good for his time. His technique has been surpassed and worked into later, greater films.

Still love Finding Nemo. Fish does phobia exposure work and rescues son.

I saw my doctor yesterday. Great idea. Antibiotics and some really good cough syrup. I feel much better already! And my lungs sound good, nothing but bronchitis.

Back to Billy Budd, the reading for tomorrow's Am. Lit. class. Reading all that Patrick O'Brian has helped me understand much of the naval background I missed when I read Melville's novel in college.

My copy of the book is so old it has a mail in cigarette offer in the back.

Love to all

Hack and Spit

How's that for a blog title? Before I begin, many thanks funkiller for noting him it took two years to build an arbor in the backyard. My kind of pace when it comes to construction projects.

Bronchitis, I'm told, runs in my family, at least for my father's mother. Both my father's parents were dead before I was born so I can't verify this firsthand. I've always been prone to chest colds, dry hacking coughs, especially in dry air, and after I had pneumonia at 30 (which I got over quickly, reading Margaret George and floating in the codeine), I had bad bronchitis the year after that, an even worse case my first year up north...coughing so hard I passed out on the living room carpet of our valley townhouse. Since I moved to the mountains I've had only mild to moderate chest congestion, nothing like a real bronchitis, until now.

Two weeks of slow cold virus seemed to drop into my chest like smog and stones last night and I was up at 4 hacking. Yes, I need t…

Morning Note

A full, beautiful morning to just hang out. I need these. M is in so cal with his dad; S is working. Tonight is her company Christmas party and since she also works a 12 tomorrow we're going in for the quick appearance tonight; eat and run.

It rained so hard this week for several days. Now the sky is blue and the ground clean, some frost overnight but it's warming into the thirties outside as the sun rises.

Here I am with more time to blog than I've had in weeks and nothing to say! It's unbelievable, but healthy. I'll eat breakfast, do some online grading, read more Madame Bovary (the most artistically perfect of all novels perhaps) for the Honors class, and, maybe, work on my bookcases which have been neglected for weeks and consist of nothing but 2x4 framing, the oak plywood waiting to be cut for plates and risers. I got enough finished for the new carpet to go in, and now our spare room is inhabitable, minus that filthy blue dog-ruined decade-old carpet. H…