"You say that things change, my dear"

I got up half an hour ago.

What is wrong with me?

There is a word in the English language for my condition. Lethargy.

I have no interest in being productive. I am floating just far enough above getting nothing done that I won't fail.

I've done it before. Usually happens to me for a couple weeks about once a semester.

Why? What is it that brings on this struggle to be useful? Why can't I just do what I like to do. I enjoy my job. I like my classes. I like my major. Heck, I like being who I am.

But for some reason there is just no interest in doing what I do.

Quick, down a drink and move on? Friday's coming soon.

In other news, I was at apple.com/trailers last night, and ran across some things.

I am heavily anticipating Saved! I'm also afraid its going to wind up giving up on witty, insightful, and biting humour in favour of just pointing and laughing at the christian high school community. Which is sad. Oh well, we can hope for the best, and the trialer does show potential.

On the other hand, I fear that I, Robot is going to be ghastly. I think when this movie comes out we'll be able to generate enough electricity to light Manhattan by hooking up Asimov's body to a modified turbine. note from the hindsight fairy, 11 months later: Actually, the movie was fine. Light enough to be enjoyable without compromising the integrity of the basic Asmovian concepts. They cut to the chase a little too quickly, and the whole thing was a bit overly bruckheimerian (I think I just made a new word!) for my taste, but such is life.

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

What if the World Were Flat?

I want to fold the map in half and be there now.

No more of this stupid loneliness. No more bickering. No more worries that we're getting tired. No more concerns that every time we're apart again we slowly begin to doubt each other. No more.

I'm not supposed to be the bad guy, but lately I feel like him whenever I open my mouth.

And to top it all off, I've got work to do. Far more work than is healthy.


Why must I be so critical? Why can't I just keep my mouth shut? I'm not angry with any of them. Yet every time they look at me I open my mouth and the only thing that comes out is poison. "Well, why didn't you make a different decision?" "Can't you just pick up the pace a little?" "I still think that game is for losers." "Don't you dare. Not today. I'm not in the mood to deal with it."

Where is Mr. Happy-Go-Lucky? Did I finally kill him?

Tuesday, March 30, 2004


Tonight was about restraint.

I went to the birthday bash around 9PM, and there was homemade ice cream.

And I didn't have any. Because I'd already had dessert at 6 when I had dinner, and I didn't need to have any more ice cream. It would be bad for me. It would be an indulgence and lose its meaning if not treated with some respect and patience.

I realize that sounds a little excessive for ice cream, but in my defence I try and live all of my life to its fullest realization, and so if I approach food the same way I approach love or art or beauty its because I see love and passion and beauty and art in food.

In any case, I kept myself from having any ice cream. I had a single dorito chip instead, and a little tiny fragment of Andés mint. (sigh) O succulent mint of heaven, how I wanted more of your tasty tiny pieces.

But no! I resisted.

Perhaps I'm praticing?

Saturday, March 27, 2004

And now back to your regularly scheduled program.


The New York Entries are all done, you can seek back to read them all.

I'm gonna go say hello to some people down at Ye Olde RLC, then come back here and clean my room.

Expect perhaps an actual entry and update later this evening, if I get far enough through my huge pile of freakin' crap.

Friday, March 26, 2004

New York notes VI

Last Notes from New York.

[Wednesday night was a devotion I gave the group in Grand Central Station. Not the one I had planned on, but God did good stuff with it, in spite of my pompousness. It was cool.]


Zigmund [spoke this morning at devotion].

[He talked about varieties of gifts and other cool stuff that we had talked about some the night before. It was awesome though, because I know the night before he had told me he was really prepared at all, but that morning he gave a devotional that he owned. It was his, and you could tell.]

"Its easy to be seduced by lights and towers.

These forced smiles and mandatory "good mornings" have all been flashing lights and blinking towers to mask my own inadequacy."
- Zig.

[Good stuff, man. Good stuff.]

New York notes V


"Stop, traffic!

Aah! I'm waiting and traffic stops and I've got an asian head in the way!"

- [A friend] and the Naked Truck.

[Ed note: I just stumbled across the coolest thing.]

I wrote down the name of the building that we distributed Magazines in front of on Wednesday morning. It was Levas Politopulos and was engraved in the facing at the top. I thought it might mean something interesting, so I took note of it. I just went to look it up, and didn't find a translation, but I did find a reference to the building at this website.

It's a table based map of 34th street, and there is our corner, right there. We stood at the corner of 9th Ave and W 34th in front of Levas Politopulos and said good morning to people and distributed magazines.

Oh, and hey, if you're ever in that part of Manhattan in the morning, drop by The Best of the West Deli downstairs in that building. It's great food, short-order style, and at a great price.

New York notes IV

New York Notes, continued.

Tuesday, the 9th.

I'm missing bible study right now.

[Inconsistent or innattentive] leadership [troubles] me on a fundemental level. Tell people what to do, lead by example, or let them make their own choices. Don't try to manipulate them into making your choices the way you want them made.

[Voice of temperance and hindsight: He's young yet though. He'll learn.]

Wow. The light pollution here is astounding. It is approximately 11PM and overcast, and I'm writing this sitting outside on [the rooftop of our hotel] with no light sources from this building at all, but the ambient light makes it clear enough to see to write.

[So anyway,] Bible study: We rushed to be back in time from stomp, (which was awesome, by the way), for the 10:30 meeting, everybody else ([including some of the leaders]) showed up around 10:45ish and then tried to start the meeting before [the people in my group] from stomp even had a chance to eat. GRRR! I [don't have enough] patience for leaders who aren't sensitive to the needs of their cares (charges, kids, whatever you want to call 'em).

I am waiting until I cool down enough before I go back inside and since its about 40 degrees out here I'm expecting that will be soon. They are the leaders and I'm willing to listen and learn, or at least I should be.



11:50, same evening.

I moved back inside and I'm sitting on the floor in the hall. It'll be better if I don't reenter. It keeps me from disturbing the meeting again and from attempting to influence or sway anyone during the meeting.

I've done enough of that already. God knows his will.

[deletia, a prayer] I can hear [a friend] speaking right now and I wish I could hear her devotion. I'll try and ask her about it.

"Oh God, let us be a generation that Seeks."

[Edited versions of the musings to God]

I know things will be done in according with [God's] will.

Or do I? I believe there are some behind this door who seek [God's] will. Several, Perhaps. And I believe that it is up to God's servants to seek His will or it will not be made completely manifest.

[Ed. Note: Isn't this called the spirit of practical Athiesm? I'm not sure.]

Will I be strong enough to listen and follow?

Or is it wise enough to listen, and strong enough to follow?

Will they? I hope so.

New York notes III

Notes from the 3rd Ave walk, Monday morning.

They treasure things.

[A spirit of] Resignation. The city seems to be moderately dismal, but comfortable with its apathy.

And notes from that evenings Bible study.

Quote: "Let me get some attention here, because I didn't get any as a child. Sorry." Our Fearless Leader, trying to quiet the group down so we could get started.

[deletia, bible study notes.]

Quote: "We don't have to reach for the heavens, because the heavens have already swooped low." - One of my roommates.

New York notes II

More New York notes, taken during the bible study.

"Teach Me some melodious sonnet."

[deletia, bible study notes.]


"Self Defined Person."

[Our fearless leader] called me that, earlier today, after I told him thtat I was staying [in, while everyone else was going sightseeing].

I'm honoured. We'll probably talk about it later.

I have new respect for [another member of the team]. He's really put a lot of energy into this trip that he didn't really have to.

Quotes for the day:

"This is a challenge before allmighty God, I shall Merge!" - Our Fearless Leader, [on the subject of New York traffic].

"He's like, 'dlling, dlling, dlling,' and he gets in my way!" [One of our drivers, admitting to the indignity of being cut off by a bike messenger while driving a 15 passenger van.]

New York notes I

Another Entry from New York.

Sunday, March 7th, 2004.

In New York.

It's good to be back.

The town seems different now that I'm older. After all, it's been 5 years since I was here last.

This morning we almost couldn't find the place. This ministry is very young. But Scot is sincere, even if he tends to be a little cookie-cutterish [around the edges].

The city is more beautiful than I remember. But working to aquire a photographer's eye might make me biased.

The group is settling in nicely and figuring each other out. Jokes made, laughs exchanged, new information learned. What area not to press, where to share an inside joke.

[Entry cut off by the orientation meeting. Notes from it follow, and the entry never is finished.]

Musings about the Passion of the Christ

Hey. I'm trying to get the New York stuff online so I can go back to posting. So here I am. The [] serve to protect the innocent or fix the poor grammar/writing.

An Entry Transcribed.

Written the morning after I saw the Passion of the Christ, during the bus ride to New York.


Impressions from the Passion of the Christ.

Epic? Certainly.

I told [a friend] last night that the level of brutality was not excessive. It wasn't. However, the level of brutality is horrific. Perhaps revulsion is expected but I had none. Jesus death, complete with it's myriad of painful and violent moments is something I came to grips with a few years ago after reading "The Day Christ Died" [by Jim Bishop].

I was caught offgaurd instead by the less violent moments, rooted more in the emotionalism and effect that Jesus had on people.

The 'teaching moment' with the guard in the garden of Gethsemane is amazing. The connection that Simon develops with Jesus. The difficulty Mary has in the alley in seeing her son stumble and fall and knowing that she must run to him. The mother's instinct portrayed so beautifully against the backgdrop of nearly indescribable cruelty.

Exhausting to watch. I didn't have most of the reactions other people had. I wonder why the pundits and critics were so focused on the anti-semitism when there are clearly men on the sanhedrin who questions his arrest and treatment?

[Another friend] mentioned that she couldn't help wondering why it wasn't enough. She said she felt a sense of "Ok, you've made your point." both in reaction to the violence of the film and the character's treatment of Jesus. I suppose that perhaps that was unintentional. But maybe not. Maybe that was Gibson's point: to use the graphic violence to cause the viewer to want to scream "STOP! Haven't you done enough allready? How much more must I watch? How much more must he take?"

"Jesus Christ died for (y)our sins."

Its so trivialized. So glib. Do you ever stop to think about it? [That we say he] died for us. And not the quiet and dignified death of the old. Instead the horrific death that only a man in the prime of life could even hope to reach at the end of the suffering he endured.

"God came to Earth."

Did he live vicariously in Christ?

Or was he Christ?

Does he prove that we can make it?

Is his sacrifice indicative of something we could all accomplish?

Was it in those quiet moments (standing back up after the beating. Praying for the guards as the nails are hammered home) that Christ was God in us? Or was it then that Christ demonstrated that the attributes of God have not completely abandoned mankind?

Can the sacrifice of one man complete the transaction for us all?


I'm not comfortable accepting that.

To partake of Christs freely offered sacrifice, we must pay a price?

Our souls? Our lives?

What is God's role in all this?

Does he die with Christ? Is he ressurrected with him?

Or [is] his observance of the event enough?

No, he must be human, for this idea to work.

Why? How can the soul of one attain [atone?] for us all? Whose soul holds such power?

[ed. note: following the writing there is a grid with four options, made out of a cross. with the words "Why this?" scrawled across it. The four options read "God is Jesus, God inhabits Jesus, Jesus displays the attributes of God, Jesus is God."]

Considerable Quote?

"Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll enjoy it a second time."


It's a working title.

So, I've got a new idea for a book: "How to stay so extraordinarily busy that you forget you even have an online diary to update."

Ok, so it's a working title.

I swear, I will update.

One of these days.

Monday, March 22, 2004

I'm not dead yet.

I'm here. I'm just very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very



But I will continue to update as soon as the chaos has passed over.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Look What the Cat Dragged Back In

I'm back from New York.

More Entries (based on notes I recorded there in a journal) coming soon.


Sunday, March 14, 2004

There are no words.

I saw the Passion.

There are no words.

And now, I'm going to New York.

Friday, March 05, 2004


It ate my last entry, and that makes me unhappy.

It was some sort of rant about dependency, and how much we expect of others, or rely on them, or at least how much we talk about it.

I'm too distracted to rewrite it now.

I'm listening to Death Cab for Cutie. Tiny Vessels strikes a cord of some sort deep within me, opening my minds eye to events that have never occured in my short life.

Hand draws lines without meaning, words typed that are not my own.

So it is that things like the following are written.


I get up, and sweep the hair from my eyes
make the bed we shared, and straighten the curtains.
Morning sun, more honest than I, bleeds into the room.

Hand brushes down the sheets, and I find the wet spot by my pillow
where your tears fell,
in the darkness,
after the end.

When I heard you weeping I refused to believe my own self-sufficiency had failed for the once and final time.
The stuff of which love is made
is simple, complex, and overplayed.
sugar, lies, and loneliness.

There are moments spent where the end feels near
and others where the way is simple, and made clear
rythm for the sake of rythm,
the moment passes, despair overtakes me, in a moment my life has
ended and begun anew, but I am no more.

Rather, there is a new me, not improved,
rather now one more statistic too weak to be an anomaly.

One more bastard on the street corner,
begging for your emotional spare change.

"Spare a kind word or a smile for a poor man, lady?
I haven't felt loved in three days."

What reduces a man to the shadow of the self he once felt he had the potential to be?

"Yeah, you are beautiful, but you don't mean a thing to me."

My life fades like a candle.


Thursday, March 04, 2004


It ate my entry.


If I could change the world.

Hey Kids.

There probably won't be much from me for a while after Friday.

See, I'm going to New York.

I'll be there for 6 days doing ministry, taking pictures, and feeling very, very poor (like, broke enough to be skippin' some meals, basically). But I'll be happy.

And the day after I get back? My Girl is coming there! W007!

So there is some good news.

On the other hand, I've got a lot of work to do (A graduate paper due the monday after we return that I had totally forgotten about. (Yikes), and I need to start working on the machine for my independent study project. I think I have everything I need for that though.

Unrelated: Have you ever felt like you were useless just because you weren't where you should have been? Its like helplessness, but worse, because you feel a responsibility for others that you can't assist, on account of your own business, or distance. Sometimes it makes me want to scream.

Anyway. . . that was a disjointed rant, no?

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Clichés are tasty!

Ok, so I just saw Under the Tuscan Sun.

Great movie. Typical, in many ways, but also touching, and poignant and sharp at the most unexpected moments.

Indeed, the movie saves itself from ignominy mainly in that at those moments where I most expected the film to fall apart into base and useless clichés, it held together most proudly. The touching scene at the wall with the trio of Polish workers was an example of such a moment.

But at other moments (the wonder-man who shows up for the last 90 seconds of the movie) the demand that hollywood churn out a feel good ending seemed to overpower the beautiful simplicity of the story.

It reminded me a bit of my impression of "Something's Gotta Give". I loved the film, but I thought it would have been far more fitting it the movie had ended just 3 minutes early, while Jack Nicholson was standing alone on the bridge. Let him realize his life lessons. Let him mature in such a way that we as an audience can share in his maturity as we observe it overtake him. And let the woman go home with the younger man. The relationship isn't the point. Growing up was, or should have been.

Sadly, American audiences aren't grown up enough to stand for that, and so the car must pull up, and Diane must get out and explain that she's always loved him. Because this is America, dammit. Learning isn't enough, we have to succeed against all odds, as well.


Wouldn't it be nice if more people realized that sometimes trying and failing is enough? Sometimes the fairytale ending isn't as good as the delicious real-world tragedy that overtakes us as we realize that we've given our all to something and still couldn't manage it? The recognition that we are not Gods but mere mortals struggling to adapt to an everchanging world is something I think we would do well to remind ourselves of more often.

Why can't more people make endings like the end of Lost in Translation? The kiss of friends, recognizing the moment of connection, learning from it, and continuing with their lives is a beautiful thing.

And yet, Under the Tuscan Sun was a fun film. It was enjoyable. As I'm sure the critic's put it, it would make a great date film*.

And so we swallow it cheerfully and call it good, even when the ending full of too much sugar and sunlight seems a little over-the-top compared to the quiet dignity the rest of the movie maintains so wonderfully.

*[Cynicism] For those of you who haven't heard, I have a theory that the words "it would make a great date film" are intended to be translated two entirely different ways for men and women in modern America.

To the women, the meaning is supposed to be "It's a touching and romantic film that will help you temporarily cast off any doubts you have that the relationship might not be wise or prudent, and drown them in the sea of romantic self-interest. You want to love him, and this movie will allow you to feel like you do."

To the men, the meaning is supposed to be "While watching this movie you'll be able to get one base farther than whatever base you've currently reached when making out."

Disgusting, isn't it?

Y'know why? Because it's true.

Monday, March 01, 2004