Sunday, October 30, 2005

A little rosary therapy...

Joe Biden comes unglued...

"If I'm the nominee, Republicans will be sorry," said Biden, a Roman Catholic, who previously ran for president in 1988. "The next Republican that tells me I'm not religious I'm going to shove my rosary beads down their throat."

Poor grammar and bad theology. Thus maketh a politician!

As the Cincinnati Enquirer reported this a.m.:

"...[S]omehow, vowing to 'donate' rosary beads past someone's epiglottis doesn't quite fit our definition of Christian charity."

Pat Robertson's plea to send the CIA to Venezuela to assassinate Chavez must have led to Chavez expelling all missionaries from his country.

So Biden is right! He and Robertson are cut of the same Christian cloth, apparently.

Sometimes it's hard to remember what the hell Christianity is supposed to be about anyway...

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The Apple Store

Have you ever been to one?

What a place. It's clean, every Apple computer screen is lit up with gorgeous color, and there is space to think and look without being overwhelmed by technology. I wanted to move in.

Yesterday, we made the pilgrimage. Jon went with us (who can resist a chance to see the G5 with the 30" screen? Makes me all shivery just remembering it). Jon and I love Apple. I have my cute little iBook ever ready on my little table that I call my work station. But being in that store made me want the new G5 that has no big computer box - just a big flat screen and keyboard. Just gorgeous. I mentioned this idle interest to Jon who immediately started calculating how we could pay for it. (You see why I love this man? We would never go into that kind of conversation over couches or kitchen appliances... but a new Apple computer? We must need one and by golly, we can afford it!)

Anyway, back to the main and plain of this story. We entered the Apple store neatly tucked between Pottery Barn and some other inane mall shop.

Our mission? Adding to Steve Job's pockets with more of our hard earned cash.

Jacob bought the new iPod with video. I was skeptical. He already has an iPod (he's bought them both with his own money by selling cookies to neighbors... seriously - makes us question the origin of his genes, but we're not complaining!).

He upgraded to the new (and blacker) iPod. (He opted for badass black over lily white.)

Let's just say it totally rocks. Totally. Like, now I want one and I don't even watch music videos. But he seduced me by hooking me up with Sting's "Desert Rose." The sound quality, first of all, blew my doors off. As my mom's husband said to me once about the Sony walkman they gave me in 1984 "It's a musical orgasm." I don't know if the pictures helped... but hey! It was Sting on the screen. Uber cool.

The little screen is clearer than our TV. The Pixar short "The Birds" popped with life and color.

But aside from movies and videos, what really got me is that Jacob has all 1000 photos from Italy on his iPod now and has created slide shows to music that he can pull out at any time to share with other people. I can't believe how totally cool that is.

Creative Memories? Sayonara! I am going Apple. (You can do the same thing on your Apple computers and if you get the big screens, you can even use their little universal remote that looks like the shuffle to control music, photos, and desktop from a distance. Conceivably, you could set up your screen, click on slide show of your last hay ride and let it play in the background while entertaining guests!)

See, we do need that bigger screen. Wonder how many cookies I'd have to sell...

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Thrashed by life

Just got off the phone with grad school friends. One of my buddies is spending the night in the hospital. Her father and mother were in a horrible car accident over the weekend. Her mother was killed instantly and her father is in the SICU. My friend's parents had come to town to see her new home and to visit her baby. They were driving back to Indianapolis when a crazy driver flew over the median and forever changed the lives of everyone in that family.

This is not the opening to an epsiode in Six Feet Under.

I feel like throwing up.

Jon said, "I'd much rather think that chance combined with stupidity is responsible for this tragedy than a divine plan."

I'll spend tomorrow afternoon with Stephanie and our other good friend.

Hug the ones you're with tonight.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Twice the (grief) Greek for half the price

Well, I'm halfway through my New Testament Greek class which means that I have now had the equivalent of a full semester, because our professor told us we are going twice as fast as a normal class, which would take a year. He was so pleased that Xavier would even offer a Greek class that he made the comment we are getting twice the Greek! I said, "Twice the grief, half the price."

Great language... if you plan on lasic surgery in the future. I can hardly look at the letters any more without going cross-eyed.

But it's way cool to read the original writings in the original language. It's like becoming a Muslim! I finally get why Muslims are maniachal about "God's" language.

Couple of tid bits to consider:

ophthe which means "see" in Greek refers to seeing dreams and daytime visions. It is not the same as the usual word for "to see" which is blepo. This is the word used in 1 Corinthians 15:1-8. Read it. Then think about "what they are seeing" and how that impacts what you read.

was raised: same chapter. This word is better translated to indicate that the raising is still occurring today. This is not aorist tense. It is in the perfect which means it happened in the past with a continuing effect, namely that Jesus "was raised" but that even as Paul wrote the words, Jesus continued to be raised. Hmmmm. What could that mean?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Bono- ubersexual

Like we needed a poll to tell us...

Bono, Clooney Named Top Ubersexuals
October 12, 2005

LOS ANGELES ( - Metrosexuals are like, so 2003. Make way for the ubersexuals.

U2 frontman/Nobel Prize nominee Bono has been named the ultimate ubersexual, according to advertising agency JWT.

An ubersexual is defined as a manly man who displays all the good qualities -- "M-ness" -- associated with the gender without giving into the negative stereotypes such as chauvinism, emotional unavailability and a brain only filled with sports stats, beer and burgers.

"The descriptor 'uber' was chosen because it means the best, the greatest," says Marian Salzman, JWT's executive VP. "Ubersexuals are the most attractive [not just physically], most dynamic, and most compelling men of their generations. They are confident, masculine, stylish, and committed to uncompromising quality in all areas of life."

Following Bono is actor/director George Clooney, former President Bill Clinton ("a born charmer ... who is not afraid to cry), real estate mogul Donald Trump and the Governator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Rounding out the Top 10 are: Senator Barack Obama, Ewan McGregor, former 007 Pierce Brosnan, Guy Ritchie and "The Daily Show" host Jon Stewart.

To help differentiate between metrosexuals and ubersexuals, JWT provided the following guide:

# UBERSEXUAL - passionate about causes and principles; METROSEXUAL - passionate about himself
# UBERSEXUAL - grooms his mind; METROSEXUAL - grooms his hair
# UBERSEXUAL - men are his best friends; METROSEXUAL - are BFF with women
# UBERSEXUAL - sexy, but not self-conscious; METROSEXUAL - narcissistic
# UBERSEXUAL - consults art and culture; METROSEXUAL - gets tips from "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" Fab Five
# UBERSEXUAL - knows right from wrong; METROSEXUAL - knows difference between toner and exfoliant
from zap2it

Friday, October 14, 2005

Second Adolescence

I was driving home from grad school last Wednesday realizing that in many ways my life reminds me of college but with a lot more responsibility. Remember how college felt huge and life beyond it scary and unknown, even though exciting and open to possibilities? For me, this huge world of ideas (much bigger than my crumbling family or my little town of Calabasas) blew open the doors of life and I couldn't wait to figure out my place in it, even while the thought terrified me.

The biggest idea was of cosmic proportions! My faith became real in college and helped me to sort out the whys and wherefores of my future: who I'd marry, how I'd serve others, what I imagined my entire life to be like at the other end, how I'd make decisions about values and ethics and work and child-rearing, how I understood who I was and what I was supposed to become...

So here I am at forty-three and suddenly many of those topics are re-opened... except now instead of them looming in the unknown future, they're mixed up with gratitude and regret about the past, while making course corrections for the future. And I'm more than knee-deep in faith and theology again, fine tuning what I thought would have been immovable positions back when I took them.

The future still looks big and looming... but suddenly I'm aware that I will not always be in it. That is probably the weirdest part of all. And all the cosmological issues are right here, not as theories for old people but as important touchstones for the future of our planet and humanity, not just my little life.

I remember looking forward to the day when my opinions would finally count, be heard... Well that day has arrived and instead, I offer uncertainty and flexibility and a profound awareness of my limitations to ever really know anything well enough, to be smart enough or educated enough or insightful enough or committed enough or competent enough... (Doesn't that sound like adolescence of another sort?) to really know. It would be so much easier (and less interesting) to bluster or cling to what I thought I knew.

But, I love learning about all of this stuff at this stage of life. In college the first time, it was all "for the first time." I "got it" in a general, "Whoa! That's big stuff" kind of way. This time around (and twenty-five years later), my appreciation for and understanding of the issues/ideas is deeper. I "make connections" and they blow my doors off. I love learning now in the same way I was boy crazy as a teen. There isn't an idea I don't want to fondle or molest in some dark corner!

Remember these feelings?

--Studying your body in the mirror for flaws. I was always so worried about being small, undeveloped, not pretty enough, not sexy. Today, I am conscious of my body shape, metabolism, hormonal changes, facial lines, greying hair... and can get down about it. I deliberately celebrate when I strike a look that makes me feel sexy. I stop now, look full in the mirror and say, "Hey Julie, you look hot!" because if I don't notice now, it will never happen. (I am lucky to have a husband who always notices me... what would I do without him?)

--Being run by hormones. I'm totally hormonal, with all the attendant fluctuations of sexual appetite and being really pissed off... Really mad. Did I mention I suddenly got a temper? When I was thirteen, I'd come home from school and slam all the shutters on the windows as hard as I could. I sort of feel like that every ten days or so, but we have no shutters.

--Wondering what you'd do when you grow up. I would never have put myself in a business context in college. I was opposed to the aims of business. So here I am running one. What does that mean?!?

--Having to join "the system." I remember distinctly freaking out about having to pay taxes, wondering about health insurance and salaries... Ha! Here I am again, only this time taxes are three times as complicated with a business and I have to think about scary stuff like retirement.

--Doing new stuff with passion. I have a sudden influx of wanting to do silly, wild things. I would love to go kayaking. That's a long standing dream of mine. I even have an article from the newspaper that is ten years old of kayaking in Alaska. I would love to travel more, to take a class in watercolor and beat back my fear of painting.

--Being a culture vulture. I admit that I like pop music and eating junk food when I want to and watching stupid sit coms and movies. I want to be able to stomp my feet, giggle, be cool or uncool, picky and smart ass when I want to.

--Being sick of school. Today, I am sick of cooking in the same way.

--Wanting life to be one big party. I want to have fun... and am old enough and baby-free enough to make it happen! That's one of the good things about the forties.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Post it Notes to the Internet

Blogging is taking a back seat to life these days.

Here's why:

Murderous Maths have taken over our homeschool. Entertaining, hilarious, practical guides to math for literary math-phobics (written by the witty British), these books have made me interested in math, maybe for the first time.

Did you know that in Britain, Australia and New Zealand, they say "maths" instead of math?

I started a new blog about my homeschool not for public consumption but to give me a better record of what the heck we do all day so that at the end of the year I don't have to have the memory of an elephant to track down all the cool stuff we did. (You know, like how many episodes of Seinfeld we've memorized and stuff...)

We have our first big Greek test next Tuesday and have I mentioned that New Testament Greek is kicking my academic butt? Found out our course covers in one semester what most seminary Greek classes cover in a year. I feel better... and worse.

Last week we celebrated the first night of Ramadan (in my comparative religious ethics class) with five Malian Imams. They came in full regalia (bright green and copper colored robes with skull caps). One of them might have also had a career with the NBA - that dude was over 7 feet tall, I'm convinced. When he prayed, it took him twice as long to bend his body in half as the rest of them. Wondered if he was in for b-ball recruitment after touring the US colleges on behalf of Islam...

The whole class fasted and we broke the fast midway through class eating an incredible meal from Mejana's - Middle Eastern Restaurant from downtown. Kebabs, chicken and rice, hummus, lemon and olive oil salad with peppers, lettuce, onions and tomatoes, kefta... it was amazing.

There's lots to discuss about that class but I don't have time to craft it! Suffice to say that I have lost hope that we can solve any global problems. Back to planting daisies in my own yard. (Reading Strong Religion right now and hope to post some quotes some day.

Took the kids to the zoo and joined. Liam is destined to work for the zoo. He comes to life there.

Well, that's the big round up. Not so interesting but it's all I've got at the moment.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Hard Rock Fruits of Home Education

And some people wonder how home educators can stand being home with their kids all day...

Caitrin is studying the history of music in our homeschool co-op. Today, they covered rock 'n roll.

The tunes of choice? She recognized 'em... the only one in the class to ID them both: the Boss and U2! My work with her is done. Diploma forthcoming.

I did nearly jump out the car window as I turned the facts over in my head. I epiphanied: "You mean there is an adult female home educating U2 and Springsteen fan lurking right there in our 110 family co-op and this astute woman of culture and I have yet to form an airband?" How did this vital statistic get by me?

Note to self: Wear Springteen T and sport U2 iPod next week in attempt to scope out clandestine fan.

In this same class, this very hip teacher will require each kid to do a music report featuring a specific type of music. Caitrin chirped the instructions happily as I came back to earth and tuned in.

"So you'll do rock 'n roll, right?" I mused absently.

"No way Mom. That's old music."

I squinted at her in the rear view mirror. Apparently we need a refresher in "Music 101".

"I'm doing rap."


My nine year old white girl whose goal in life is to visit the American Girl Tower in Chicago wants to do her music report on rap.

Jacob scoffed. "You don't even know any rappers!'

C: "Do so. I know seven."

J: "You do not. Name them. I'm gonna count." He poised his fingers in the air.

I quickly ran through the number I knew in my head and never got to seven.

C: "Tupac Shakur,
Fifty Cent,
Missy Elliot,
Eve, oh and
Little Romeo... he's got a dad called Big Romeo but he got shot."

Did I mention she just turned nine? Should I be scared?

Imagine the following scenario next spring as students present reports...

Caitrin brings "Kit" (her AG doll) to the front of class and uses the doll's hand to push "play." Out comes "Thug Life" by Tupac...

Better start looking for a new co-op now.