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Archive for January, 2008

LOST Thoughts

  • I hate when they do this. I thought it was going to be a two-hour new episode. Nawp. It’s a one-hour “since we’ve been off the air for 9 months” recap episode followed by a one-hour new episode. Frabjous.
  • I ended up eating my pizza during a TiVo’d episode of People’s Court.

The attorney for Oceanic is named after Satan. More specifically, he’s named after the Destroyer and guardian of the underworld.

What I found really interesting was that in many Mystical traditions, “Abaddon” has become the place-name for “The Valley Of Darkness” that a mystic travels through in order to have the greater secrets of the mystery revealed. As a Christian mystic, I believe that Christ has borne for us the greater portion of Abaddon–that which is death of the soul and seperation from God, the torments of hell–, but that our life on earth is a sort of lesser Abaddon through which we travel in order to have a greater understanding of the Mystery of God upon our death. Our trials here on earth represent tasks through which we come to the fullness of understanding of the Divine Mystery.

So what about Lost? Well, I think that that’s a lot of what the Lost writers are trying to explore. They’re looking at the revelations of Mystery. Hence naming the Oceanic attorney “Abaddon”–the Lostaways take Oceanic to the Island, and the Island is the place where Mysteries are revealed.

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I will have a Cheese Lover’s pizza with sausage and mushroom, a frosty glass of Pepsi and two hours of Lost to run my brain over shamelessly.

Yippee!

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The Oddest Thing

I just cleaned out my “awaiting moderation” spam trap.   There was the oddest spam I’d ever seen.   It was full of links to spammy type deals involving boobs and twins and women kissing women and fourteen year olds and what not.   But then the last link was for “Indiana Lake Brookville”.

Makes you wonder what goes on at Brookville.

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The Bible

A friend told me yesterday that I needed to take some time to slow down and grieve for all of the things that are needing grieving. My first thought was “what?” My second thought was “oh, yeah. That stuff.”

In what seemed unrelated at the time but later turned out to be very related, I ended up at the blog of an old professor. I only had him for a couple of classes, but I’d say he was one of my two favourite profs, if not my hands-down favourite. I’ve since read many of his books and am looking forward to getting more of them for like my birthday or something. (ahem.)

Before I knew it I found myself lost in the Bible, and it reminded me of just how much I absolutely love it. There’s something about studying it in depth that brings a unique solace.

I’m not even talking about those Greatest Hits In Times Of Trouble passages in Psalms and 1Peter and The Revalation. I’m talking about Judges and Ezra, Chronicles and Genesis. Pretty much all of it has me in a sort of inspired and comforting place. I feel as though I’ve been paging through old photo albums of family functions and holidays, but instead of Tommy eating potting soil or my siblings in lederhosen the pictures are of God and the other people in God’s family.

It was an odd sort of grieving ritual, but in the end I found it extremely comforting.  I felt wrapped in the blanket of The God Who Is There.

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Book Rental

Casey sent me an email yesterday that I totally spaced on until like five minutes ago when I was trolling around Facebook. (I love Facebook for these days when I want to feel like I have friends but I don’t have the courage to actually TALK to anybody….)

Anyway, back to the email….

It was regarding a discussion on Reddit about renting used paperbacks through some type of exchange program.

I know that a company like that used to exist…it was sort of the Netflix of paperback books…but I can’t think of the name right now. (All together–Viagra!) I thought about joining, but I’ll be honest. I have to own paperbacks. Of course, when I’m done with them I try to give them away to keep the love going and to pay down my karmic debts. I’m thinking that 100 give-away paperbacks might make up for the private thoughts I have about causing pain to both Hannity and Colmes.

But yeah. I have to own the paperbacks, because I have to feel like it’s okay to get bubblebath on them, smears of chocolate and pizza sauce or even those little indentations on the bottom of the pages that my thumbnail leaves. You can generally tell that I’ve read a paperback just because the bottom right side of every page looks like a braille cussword–dozes of tiny half-moon pressmarks testify to my having been there.

Paperbooks owned by me have smudges of lipstick from the tubes that slide open in my purse and meander over to the Purse Book of the moment. Books owned by me smell faintly of dog and Clinique Happy.  They have old airline boarding passes and doctor appointment reminder cards marking places I was either planning to read or needed to store my bookmark.  I live both in and on my books. I don’t think I can lease them from a stranger.

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The medicine’s real name is Lyrica, but I keep wanting to call it Viagra.  Both names have a lot of vowels, end with “a” and have a pointy letter toward the beginning.

Also, I can’t remember words.   I spend so much time searching for words it isn’t even remotely funny.   That last entry about iTunes I spent 7 minutes trying to think of “Napster” and ultimately had to Google it.

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I’ve been using my new iPod Touch to watch videos about twice as much as I’ve been using it to listen to music.  Heretofore I’ve been putting both HandBrake and TiVo To Go through their paces–I’ve now got all the US Office episodes and 98% of the episodes of Arrested Development ready to throw on the iPod at a moment’s notice.   I swear that when it  comes to waiting for ANYTHING (except red lights) there’s nothing like it.

When Apple announced they were renting movies through iTunes I was pretty skeptical.  I can use Handbrake to convert most of my DVD library, and most rentals are something I’d want to watch with my spouse on the big TV you don’t hold in your hand.

But I honestly couldn’t resist trying it out, so I decided to give Alien Vs. Predator a whirl.   I’ve seen it before, but the pickins are slim right now, and I like sleek special effects-y stuff.

The experience is much like Amazon’s UnBox.   The download is pretty slow (of course, that’s all due to our at home network speed), and you have 30 days to keep the film.   Once you start watching it, however, a countdown lets you know you have 24 hours before the thing evaporates into the ether.

Unlike UnBox, you CAN transfer the film from your computer to your iPod and back again–which is handy.

I’ve read several reviews of the experience and most of them are like mine.   Slow download, but fun.   Everyone seems to be clamouring for All You Can Eat pricing a la Netflix and Napster, because $2.99/$3.99 per film seems a little steep.   I’d be intrigued by a model like that, but I don’t think right now there are enough videos in stock for me to think it’s worth it.  Right now I think I’ll limit my rentals to chick flicks and other movies we’ve decided we don’t want to see together.

(27 Dresses, here I come!)

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I’ve been dropping in on Twitter conversations and eavesdropping on blogs.   It seems that many of my friends (or those I call my friends) are in sad places.

It makes me sad to think of all the miasma which surrounds everyone.

I don’t know how to help everyone and I wish I did.

But I’m going through one of those phases where I’m, quite honestly, afraid of other people.   It’s something that has happened to me a few times in my life, and I don’t know how to explain it other than to say that I feel like someone on the outside of society looking in.   Sort of a cross between Gollum and The Little Match Girl.

I’m looking forward to spring, when I’ll hopefully outgrow this fear thing.

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We were there on Saturday, and I just have to say this one thing….

Their “dollar spot” pissed me off.

They have a large “gummi” tongue marketed with the caption “Girls are cool! Boyz DROOL!”

Nothing like spreading gender disharmony with cheap candy.

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Various

I’m in a lot of pain today, so this is a strange blog entry. But I made myself a promise, so here goes nothing. (Sorry, S&F, I know you hate lists….)

  • Watched Schindler’s List this weekend. Man, that movie is depressing.
  • I’m now in love with “Property Virgins” on HGTV. After watching all of these remodeling shows where people flip houses for millions of dollars, it’s nice to see a “property expert” educate real first time buyers on the reality of the market and purchasing a first home.
  • The latest issue of Christianity Today has a blurb about the growing interest in Reformed theology (i.e. Calvinism) in the Southern Baptist church. As a Mennonite who is a member of a local SBC church I can attest not only to the growing interest Baptists have in Calvinism, but to the various problems that arise when Calvinism is misunderstood. I’m not at all a Calvinist. I think my Dad is, though. He believes in election of saints (“For those He foreknew he also predestined…”) I tend to place more of an emphasis on the “foreknew” in that verse. God knows all that has transpired and WILL transpire because God exists outside the temporal realm of humanity. Therefore God has knowledge of events we cannot see. In that way the Mystery of God is perfected outside our knowledge. I say all of this because I was present at a church seminar a couple of years ago that dealt with Calvinism. It was clear there, as it was in the CT article, that there is some feuding going on between the Arminian and Reformed camps. It’s also clear to me that many people don’t realise that the Anabaptist way (the mother church of both Mennonism and the Baptists) is a THIRD way, apart from both Arminism and Calvinism. I worry about Anabaptism being overlooked because it’s not as hotbloodedly sexy a doctrinal belief as the other two. However, I (as a very biased and outspoken practitioner of Anabaptism and Mysticism) believe very firmly that Anabaptism hews more closely to First Century faith practice than the others. Which is ironic, as the very same issue of CT deals with Christians looking to First Century models to reform their faith practices.
  • My friends had a baby. They named him Adam. Unfortunately, they haven’t made a blog entry that says “Madam, I’m Adam”, thus ruining one of the greatest palindromic opportunities of all time.

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