Archive for May, 2009

Four or five years ago we ran into this friend of my husband’s at Starbucks. He was with his wife and introduced himself to me. We struck up a conversation where at least 50 percent of the small talk revolved around their church, their activities at that church and their bigtime love of Jesus. It stuck with me because it really seemed like these people were very concerned that I be impressed with just how deeply they were into Jesus.

Not long after that the guy lost his job and of course asked for prayer. When I ran into him again he was again talking up Jesus big-time, as if every invocation of the word “Jesus” was an extra nickle in the Find Me A Job Vending Machine.

Well now he’s got the job. I won’t say where it is, but I will say that it is at a prominent local business. Where he has gained a reputation for being rude, cheating people out of money and giving them far less than what they’ve paid for because he assumes that they are naive and won’t know the difference.

Occasionally my husband and I run into yet another person who has been treated badly by this man and this man’s company. It happened again this evening and I said to my husband “so much for all his big God talk…”

I’m having a problem because I know we’re not supposed to judge. I know that we humans can never know what is in another person’s heart and I firmly believe that each person’s journey with God is his or her own private mystical experience never properly evaluated by outsiders. Yet I also have a problem with someone wearing Christ on his sleeve while at the same time acting in the exact opposite manner from how we Christians are taught to act. He’s besmirching the name of Jesus every time he opens the door to his company.

It’s not easy to be a Christian. We don’t belong here–the word ‘holy’ means ‘set apart’, and that’s exactly what we are. Outsiders. Every Christian feels it to a degree. That’s why so many of us would like to believe we live in a Christian nation and that if we have enough politicians and rich men on our side we won’t be so alone. That’s why so many of us crave earthly comfort and riches. And I suppose that’s why some of us figure if we act like we’ve never even heard the Gospel things will go smoothly. But I promise you it is a dangerous thing to claim Jesus while taking his name in vain. I even think there’s a commandment about that.

Read Full Post »

It is a capital mistake to theorize before you have all the evidence. It biases the judgment.
-Sherlock Holmes, A Study In Scarlet

Casey asked me what I thought of the upcoming Sherlock Holmes movie starring Robert Downey Jr., and contrary to that sage advice passed to us by the Scottish physician via his most famous patient, I have a theory. But I’ll disguise it as opinion in order to get away with it.

I’m a Holmes nut. My url gives it away, I think. Well…at least it does to other Holmes nuts. The unindoctrinated have no idea what that “mycropht” thing is all about, and the fact that I’ve intentionally misspelled it does most googlers no favours at all.

Oops. Back to the movie.

When I first read that RDJr. was to play Holmes I was really torn. He looks nothing like Holmes, save for the fact they both have brown hair. But I had just seen Iron Man twice and his ability to become that character makes me think that perhaps it might not be so bad. Of course, having a short man play Holmes is, to me, like having an Asian man in the role. Holmes is tall–and I say that as a girl who had her first literary crush on that character when she was 11 14 and absorbed EVERY detail about the guy.

Holmes also has a drug problem. That worries me, because we all know that Robert Downey Jr. is a walking drug problem and I fear that any portrayal of Holmes he gives us will be riddled with the drug thing. It can’t be as bad as The Seven Percent Solution (that Holmes apocryphal novel by Star Trek writer Nicholas Meyer), but it will be as boring to watch as Dr. House’s vicodin addiction. Why are all the modern writers fascinated by that aspect of Doyle’s character?

Of course the big thing is that while googling something else I came across this story detailing that Guy Ritchie (the film’s director) is making Holmes gay for Watson. Sigh. I guess it’s about time. It’s happened already in countless fan fictions and since the modern sensibility doesn’t seem to allow for male friendships without some sort of sexual complication I guess this was bound to show up onscreen sooner or later. Besides, I’ll cut Ritchie a pass for his current disavowal of women given the state of his marriage. I just always feel sorry for all of Dr. Watson’s wives who would either be surprised at his batting-both-ways or using it as an excuse to break up.

The one good thing about this is that maybe it’ll make Sherlock Holmes popular again and it won’t just be the nerds who are off into it.

Did I say good thing? Hmmm. I oughta rethink that.

Meanwhile, I’ll be cautiously optimistic about this film and continue waiting for a Mycroft movie of substance. After all, he’s smarter than Sherlock and able to solve the mysteries from the comfort of his chair in the Diogenes Club. The same mysteries that have baby brother Sherlock running all the heck over England. Fat, sedentary, genius. How can you not love Mycroft Holmes?!?

Read Full Post »

osrzae osrzae osrzae

For the last two weeks I’ve been sicker than I had been in years. The constant rain meant constant pain and very little sleep. By Tuesday of last week I was a complete mess.

Since I couldn’t work on my book–in fact I couldn’t sit up at my computer–I was looking for a diversion. And that’s how I ended up downloading Epic Pet Wars for the iPhone. And that’s how I ended up playing it in a near-addictive frenzy.

I said yesterday on Twitter that Epic Pet Wars is Advanced Dungeons and Dragons plus Pokemon minus the lousy Dungeon Master who has no story-telling skills and has read Lord of The Rings and Terry Brooks Shanara stuff too many times. I guess that wasn’t clear because I got tweets back telling me I shouldn’t play it if I don’t like it. Thing is, in my world that’s the highest form of praise.

I love half of role-playing games. I like the fact that any good role-playing game is essentially the combination of math and spreadsheet-style organisational flow. You can dress it up with elves and wizards and Jedi, but it’s still all about the math. I did poorly in Math in high school for any number of reasons, but as I’ve grown older I’ve come to love the clean simplicity and organisation of it. ( * I retook Algebra in college because the State of Tennessee made me. I got an A+ and have never looked down on Math again.) The half of role-playing games I’ve never liked is the acting-out of someone else’s story. Good fantasy storytellers are rare. I am not one at all, but I know a good one when I see it. Unfortunately most of the people who wrote the scenarios for gaming weren’t the ones I saw.

I’m rambling. What I mean to be saying is that EPW can be played online at their website, on Facebook and on the iPod. It’s free to get started–the cost comes later if you want to upgrade pets, but you never have to pay a cent if you don’t want to. It’s the best possible way to spend a few minutes of downtime. Or several sick days. And no, no one is paying me to write this.

My addiction to the game has forced me to pay attention to my long-dormant Twitter account. I’m still not in love with the medium as it is too abbreviated and navel-gazy for me. (“I’m Hungry.” “I just ate something.”) But it’s the best way to get Treasure Codes and Friend Codes for the game. So I’ve been issuing bizarre tweets with funky six letter codes. (My friend code, in case you hadn’t heard, is osrzae. Add me to your posse!) I’ve been seeking out codes and if my searches are any indication this game is going to be the next big thing. If it isn’t already.

So if you have access to the internet–and the fact that you are reading this makes me assume that you do–give Epic Pet Wars a try.

Read Full Post »

I’m sick of you having your divorce in every magazine I subscribe to and/or pass at the checkout stand. I’m even more sick that you are capitalising on your marital woes in order to pimp the new season of your show exploitation fest. You keep saying you are doing this for your children. I wonder at what point you decided that your children would benefit from having their parents’ sexual peccedillos on the cover of People Magazine.

You are vile, vile, vile people. Any suffering you are talking about in the pages of Entertainment Weekly you’ve brought on yourselves with your lust for money and attention. And yes, I know I shouldn’t write this because negative attention is still attention. I either need the 1200 blog hits a day I get from the fans who will come here to tell me how great you are or I just am so beyond ill at seeing this sick twisted play that I had to get it off my chest.

Option B, fraktards.

Read Full Post »

Finally, someone is putting it all together. (more…)

Read Full Post »

I guess I’m in the minority on Star Trek. Which in a way makes me glad because I’m glad that a Star Trek movie is doing well at the box office. (Yes, I can be of two minds. I’m a May Baby.)

I must also be in the minority for wanting Kirstie Alley to just go be fat in private, seeing as how she’s on every tv show and magazine in the country. I’m befuddled because she’s actually admitting what Fat Acceptence folks like me have been saying for years. Everyone does gain the weight back and most people who keep it off can only do so under extreme conditions such as being paid to do so and being monitored on it extensively by the same people who prepare their food for them, etc.

Yet she’s still shaming herself and every other fat person by making it sound like a personal failing instead of what is for most people in this country the natural state of being.

But it makes her money and gives her the best currency an actor can have–continued publicity. In fact I’m kind of mad at myself for blogging about it but I needed to write about something before I dissappear for a few days. OOops. I’m not supposed to tell readers I’ll be disappearing. But I will. Until Thursday or Friday. In fact, that’ll probably be the pattern from here on out.

Read Full Post »


I was up all night watching Friends reruns.

It struck me how much my life has changed since that show first aired. I was a big fan when it first came on and when it went off the air after 10 years I couldn’t believe that TEN YEARS had gone by. Now it’s closer to 20 and I’m kinda shellshocked by that.

When the show first came out I had just gotten married and moved to a city where the only people I knew were my husband and the best man from our wedding. I was lonely and I was scared. The first episode I watched–which was the first episode of the show, natch–hooked me with the theme song. “No one told you life was gonna be this way.” It’s true. They didn’t. I remember feeling so adrift and clutching at that half-hour of tv as a sort of oasis. (Was I adrift on a desert? I guess I was so adrift I couldn’t make up my mind where I was.)

In a way that show gave me a sense of community. I realise that sounds pathetic and more than a bit loserish, but I still think it was a pretty brave thing to do, starting over in a strange city with nothing but true love and a lot of nerve. I came from a big family with a sense of humour and in a way the jokey coffee house setting made me feel–thirty minutes a week–like I was briefly back around the dinner table at home in Indiana. That refueling gave me what I needed to make it in the wider world.

I think of things like that when I wonder what kind of calling it is to be a writer. I’m from a family of teachers, doctors, lawyers, nurses and farmers. Every contribution made by everyone else seems so tangible–as much as food, literacy, wellness and financial well-being are tangible. Whatever contribution my light little stories give the world never seems like a worthy endeavor to me. And then I think of all the times over the past 20 years that stories have kept me going and I hope that I have the honour of getting to be that for someone else someday.

Read Full Post »

Many Spoilers Follow Herein. Be warned about Harry Potter. Be Warned about LOST. Be Especially Warned About STAR TREK.

Twenty years from now I’m going to write a series of books. I will call them “Harry Potter” books, and they will have all the best-loved Harry Potter characters. They’ll be set at Hogwarts. There will be Dementors and butterbeer and Quidditch and good times.

Except my books will start out (more…)

Read Full Post »

Spoiler Alert

Last Christmas (2007) my spouse was trying to occupy himself while being at his in-laws for an extended period of time. We are a talky bunch and he’s a quiet fellow so he occasionally needs to slip off for some solitude.

During one of those stretches of solitude he did some research for his job and concepted a product. Many moons later that concept became Griffin Navigate. It’s a remote control for the iPod Touch/iPhone, allowing you to change tracks in iTunes without having touch the device. Without a click-wheel, all controls on the iPhone except on/off have to be performed visually. That’s not easy to do if you’re driving a car, riding a bike or–in my case–reading. So this is a handy dandy little piece of technology.

In addition to the clickety bits, the Griffin Navigate (gotta get that product name in there!!!) is also an FM receiver. Yes, I know people don’t listen to FM anymore if they’ve got an iPod. But someone must.


Including the dude in this episode of CSI. The case revolved around him listening to FM radio through his iPhone. Unknown Which he was able to do via (you guessed it) the Griffin Navigate.

So, no. My excellently gorgeous spouse–oogled by numbers of women–wasn’t on the show in person. But his brainchild was. It may seem like not much, but nevertheless I’m glowing with pride.

Read Full Post »

On the days when I’m out of commission I spend a lot of time on the couch in my bonus room, or on the couch in my living room. Those, coincidentally, are the only two rooms in the house that have a window to the street. I try not to be Gladys Kravitz, and most of the time I’m so engrossed in a book or whacked out on meds that I don’t notice anything at all. Especially after last winter when I wasted tons of taxpayer money and embarrassed myself.

But if I hear crying or shouting, I’m going to look. And so that’s how on no fewer than five occasions in the last few weeks I’ve seen this one kid. He’s either big for his age or a couple years older than the other boy he runs around with. I don’t think they’re brothers. They could be, but the genetic odds on that are long, as the bigger boy is large, fairskinned and blonde while the smaller boy is slight and dark-haired with a sallow complexion.

The bigger boy is always inventing these games which involve hitting the littler boy with newspapers (pulled from our and our neighbours’ driveways) or poking the littler boy with a stick. I’m so torn about whether or not I should say something. I usually sort of watch while they’re in front of our house to see if anyone truly gets physically hurt. I wouldn’t allow that kind of play at all, but I know boys need to be boys and they aren’t my boys and no blood is being drawn. I think.

But now Big Blonde Bully (which is how I privately think of him) has started carrying a BB gun (thank you, alliteration gods!) and was walking around yesterday pointing it at the littler boy, at our mailbox and–according to my husband–chasing after neighbourhood cats.

Little Serial Killer in the making.

Yesterday the two boys were with an adult woman, which is why I didn’t say anything then. But now I’m asking. Especially any of you who are parents of small boys. Should I find out who the boy is and say something to his parents or should I mind my own business? I don’t want to be nosy, but I also don’t want some violent monster germinating on my street and terrorising the weak and defenceless.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »