Monthly Archives: May 2007

My iGoogle soapbox for yesterday:
Tolerance isn’t tolerance if you feel intolerance for intolerant people. (i.e. hating Rush Limbaugh for being intolerant makes me intolerant and abolishes my argument that I am a tolerant person.)

It’s apropos of nothing, but I didn’t want to lose it when I changed my soapbox.


Rockin’ The Casbah

I was chatting with Chris online the other day and I mentioned that I had seen Queen in concert. As we talked more I realized that growing up in the Bay Area in the 1970s and 80s had afforded me the unusual opportunity to see an obscene amount of artists in concert. Also I have continued to attend concerts as I’ve gotten older. I decided to make a list of every artist I had seen in person. This list has topped out at 208 bands/artists including some comedians I’ve seen in clubs. Keep in mind that the vast majority of these concerts were music festivals and I don’t actually remember all of different artists, I just know I was there. Some of them I don’t remember because I was about 12 when I began going to Day on the Green concerts at the Oakland Coliseum, and I just didn’t know or didn’t care about some of the bands, and some I don’t remember because they weren’t all that great, and some I don’t remember due to “chemical enhancement”, but MOST of them I can remember at least bits and pieces of the show, if not all of it. I know for sure I’m missing a few concerts for which I just can’t remember names, but I can picture the show. Oh well. They’ll come to me someday.  I didn’t include musicals, operas, etc.

So, for your perusement and amusement, here’s the list in alphabetical order:

.38 Special
Bryan Adams
Air Supply
Diane Amos (Comedy)
Tori Amos
Louie Anderson (Comedy)
Fiona Apple
Joan Armatrading
The Babys
The Bangles
Barenaked Ladies
Bay City Rollers
Pat Benatar
Black Sabbath
Blue Oyster Cult (also as Soft White Underbelly)
Blues Traveler
David Bowie
David Brenner (Comedy)
Jonatha Brooke
Jackson Browne
Jimmy Buffett
T-Bone Burnett
Belinda Carlisle
The Cars
Casting Crowns
Steven Curtis Chapman
Tracy Chapman
Cheap Trick
Cherry Poppin’ Daddies
Margaret Cho (Comedy)
The Clash
Andrew Dice Clay (Comedy)
Marc Cohn
Paula Cole
Phil Collins
Shawn Colvin
Dave Coulier (Comedy)
Crash Test Dummies
Robert Cray
Culture Club
Dance Hall Crashers
Charlie Daniels Band
The Dead Kennedys
Def Leppard
Depeche Mode
Doobie Brothers
The Eagles
Earth, Wind, & Fire
Sheena Easton
Electric Light Orchestra
English Beat
Gloria Estafan & The Miami Sound Machine
Melissa Etheridge
The Fixx
Fleetwood Mac
Peter Frampton
Peter Gabriel
Crystal Gayle
J. Geils Band
Debbie Gibson
Nick Gilder
The Go-Gos
Whoopi Goldberg (Comedy)
Bobcat Goldthwait (Comedy)
Eddy Grant
Sammy Hagar
Hall & Oates
Corey Hart
Don Henley
The Himalayans (Counting Crows’ Adam Duritz)
Hot Tuna
Billy Idol
Indigo Girls
Iron Maiden
Chris Isaak
Jefferson Starship
Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
Billy Joel
Elton John (w/Kiki Dee)
Judas Priest
Lucy Kaplansky
Katrina & The Waves
King Crimson
B.B. King
Sam Kinison (Comedy)
The Kinks
Kool & The Gang
Kris Kristofferson
Christine Lavin
Annie Lennox
Huey Lewis & The News
Richard Lewis (Comedy)
Little River Band
Kenny Loggins
Howie Mandell (Comedy)
Manhattan Transfer
Richard Marx
Matchbox 20
Bobby McFerrin
Sarah McLachlan
John Cougar Mellencamp
George Michael
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
Steve Miller Band
Joni Mitchell
Keb’ Mo’
Molly Hatchet
Eddie Money
Moody Blues
Alanis Morrisette
Alison Moyet
Willie Nelson
Stevie Nicks
Night Ranger
Nitza (Cirque de Soleil – Delirium singer)
Ted Nugent
Gary Numan
Oingo Boingo
Joan Osborne
Ozzy Osbourne
Ray Parker Jr.
Pink Floyd
Pointer Sisters
The Police
Kevin Pollack (Comedy)
Paula Poundstone (Comedy)
Public Image, Limited (PiL)
Eddie Rabbitt
Bonnie Raitt
Reel Big Fish
REO Speedwagon
Cliff Richard
Rolling Stones
Linda Ronstadt
Bob Sagert (Comedy)
David Sanborn
Boz Scaggs
Bob Seger
Pauly Shore (Comedy)
Simply Red
Siouxsie and the Banshees
Rick Springfield
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
Rod Stewart
Stray Cats
Talking Heads
James Taylor
Tears for Fears
Thin Lizzy
Thompson Twins
Chris Tomlin
Peter Tosh
Pat Travers
The Tubes
Tina Turner
The Uptones
Van Halen
Luther Vandross
Stevie Ray Vaughan
Violent Femmes
The Who
Kim Wilde
Dar Williams
Robin Williams (Comedy)
Wilson Phillips
George Winston

  1. “Working with all my heart”…. half a heart so far. Still, it’s on my mind.
  2. Trying to learn to use the mouse with my left hand. Last night after I’d done it for about an hour, i had trouble driving home because i was in a different vehicle than usual and my brain was already confused about left and right. Worked out fine but it was weird. I will persevere and push on to victory though!! It’s the ONLY way to make my workspace ergonomically correct (not taking chair into account at all), and it would take some stress off my right forearm which has been sore for…, well for years.
  3. Cramps suck!
  4. Eldest daughter is about to turn 18 and move across the country. Happy and stressful at the same time.
  5. It’s almost summer when youngest daughter will move to real mom’s house for 2-3 months.  Anticipation. Quiet. Stillness.
  6. Son’s whereabouts this summer unknown, probably at our house, not real mom’s, but I don’t care. The only indication he is there is missing food, messy counters, and plates showing up after two days of food drying on them. Annoying items to be sure, but not very demanding for me.
  7. More sleep wanted, extra hours in day to accommodate more sleep preferred. No cooperation from upstairs on that.
  8. It’s beautiful and sunny and warm today. I have lilies (i think) growing in my yard, next to the irises! Ahhhh, so pretty! The Rhodies are blooming with a riot of color everywhere you look. I love Oregon. LOVE IT!!
  9. Also, learning to sit up straight. Hurts like hell. Whose idea was it to make this the responsibility of muscles? you don’t have to worry about keeping your legs straight!! Then again, they are rather vulnerable to breakage, and less maneuverable. Right now I’d like one of those traction devices that keeps you from bending your back, but on my terms. Like, not as the result of a car crash or something.
  10. Have I mentioned lately how much I love my house? I love my house. It’s wonderful. I shall post pictures someday after the vinyl windows and sliding doors have been installed.

Time to eat and do more work.

I just went through my entire blog…. deleted some posts that i didn’t EVER want anyone else to read. Made some posts protected that were previously private, and one or two that were previously public, so if some posts show up suddenly on your protected tab, they’re actually old posts, nothing new in my life on those. Plus I just changed my protected list of readers, so you are now on the list. Don’t get too excited, it’s not all that exciting ;).

Just, FYI to explain why they are suddenly showing up.


Completely convicted on the way home from work. I’m driving home listening to a cd of mp3s of my pastor’s sermons for the weeks i’ve missed in church and he’s doing a new series called The Office, so I’m listening and nodding away until….. Colossians 3:23-24!!
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
In other words, don’t be a slacker, don’t be a half-assed worker, don’t just work when someone is looking, WORK WITH ALL YOUR HEART AS IF YOU WERE WORKING FOR THE LORD HIMSELF. Ouch…..!
I mean, I already feel guilty when i slack, but i can justify it away or explain it because my office just isn’t that busy most of the time and I’d be out of things to do soon.  But that isn’t what God says. God says DO YOUR BEST AT EVERYTHING YOU DO!
My pastor ended with a question: What would change if you went to work on Monday and for one week (a whole life is too much of a commitment apparently) committed to working with all your heart and doing the best job you could do? What would that look like? How might God bless that?
Seeing as I just spent the better part of the last two days slacking, I kinda got zinged on it. You know what’s so nice though about the whole thing? There is always a chance to do it differently tomorrow, or tonight, or next week, or whatever. He is the God of second chances (and third and fourth and so on) for sure. Grace and more grace, and then more.
Peace and Blessings on you all!

Goals MET of the goals SET yesterday…. 4/8.  Practical goals met regarding mother’s day cards and seminary application: 0/2. Ooops.

I partially didn’t get much done because I made a new Xanga acquaintance and promptly decided I needed to read her entire blog. She’s been posting since 2005 (that 2004 post so didn’t count) and is a frequent poster (unlike me) so it took QUITE some time to read blogs and comments. I gave up on reading the majority of the comments after yesterday. I only have so much time to appear to be working yet not actually be working. I had to get SOME important things done like: filing, opening and stamping the mail, chatting with my husband, going out to lunch with my co-worker, etc.  She’s a beautiful soul, really you are Nikki.  You know in the future we won’t have to write our memoirs because they will already have been written on blogs. I read hers and it was full of some beautiful writing, lots of soul searching, bad dates, bad jobs, falling in love, good jobs, existential crisis (take note Heather!), family drama, tragedy, new directions, and is currently smack-dab in the middle of “what next?” for … pretty much everything. And she reminded me that following Jesus is about a passionate love relationship with a radical thinker and not about “being a Christian”. Those of you who read this often know I’m not your “follow-all-the-rules” kind of person to begin with, but she makes me want to go and DO things and BE someone who really makes a difference instead of just rhetorically arguing that “I’m not your average Christian” but doing nothing.

Goals for Today:

  1. Learn not to take it personally when people say crappy things about Christians and/or Christianity. They aren’t talking about me personally, and I used to say the same things. Still, it’s hard. I find myself wanting to jump up and down and say “But there are lots of Christians that aren’t like that!!! You just don’t ever NOTICE those ones.”
  2. Get Mother’s Day cards for Mom and Step-Mom. Sign them. MAIL THEM. (key importance)
  3. Contact Pastoral Reference for Seminary and find out reason for non-responsiveness to email. Guessing email is not working or there is a problem between the Keyboard and the Chair (i.e. user not actually CHECKING email).
  4. Cheer Up.  I am somewhat unreasonably down in the dumps. Don’t THINK it’s hormonal. Situational / circumstantial data looks fairly normal.
  5. Get prepared for little recognition on Mother’s Day. Expect the worst, hope for the best as they say. Step-moms tend to get the short end of the stick on this one. My oldest tells me she’s got me covered though, and my husband already has a card on my desk with a “Do not open until Sunday” note on it, so I know I’ll be getting some love. 😀
  6. Consider the following: “…for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” This is so far beyond me.
  7. Remember to ask people who seem irritated with me “what should i have done differently in your view? what would you have preferred to see me do?”  Just getting mad back doesn’t work (or make sense), and saying “what’s wrong” usually get’s a “nothing. nothing’s wrong” response which doesn’t help either. How can I know what behaviors are upsetting and decide what I’m willing to change if “nothing’s wrong”?
  8. WAKE UP! It’s not even 9 a.m. and I’m having trouble keeping my eyes open while I type. This doesn’t bode well for the day.

Theological Ramblings

Theory: In order to have a “right relationship” with God, I must confess and repent of my sins. (An “if, then” statement which also goes to say “if not, then not”.)

Related questions: How do I know recognize my sins? What constitutes repentance? If God is omniscient (all-knowing), why must I say what I have done wrong? What does God want from me?

On recognizing sin: How do I recognize my sins? When I do something or think something that I know is wrong, it’s clear. But why is there a sense of right and wrong? How do I know I’ve been properly taught what is right and what is wrong? Some say there is an internal knowledge of what is right and wrong that must be placed there by God because no one has to teach us the biggies. One could also theorize that it comes from indirect observation of our culture. What if something feels right but I know intellectually is wrong? What if something feels wrong, but I know intellectually it is right? How do I reconcile those things and assign them an empirical rightness or wrongness?

On repentance: What is it? Is simply saying “I repent of such-and-such” adequate? Must I try to do better next time? Must I promise to do better next time? Must I make sure there is no next time in which to mess up?

On admission in the face of omniscience: I understand that the theory is that even though God already knows what I’ve done wrong, I am expected to recognize that I’ve done wrong and apologize for it. But if God already knows all my wrongs, it seems a bit cruel to require me to rake myself over the coals for things that I already recognize as being wrong and for which I am sincerely apologetic. How does this dovetail with the loving God who doesn’t see me as a sinner, but as redeemed in his eyes already because of Jesus?

On what God wants: How do I know what God wants from me? Unfortunately the Bible says a LOT OF DIFFERENT things that don’t always agree about what God wants us to do and not do. And yes, I can get a general idea of what God wants from people via the Bible, but what about what me personally? What does God want from ME, and how do I learn that?

Okay, in order to repent of my sins, I must know what they are. Things that I believe are “not good” about myself, right?
My laundry list of sins: Pride, superiority, anger, arguing needlessly, selfishness, improper thoughts, laziness, dishonesty, disrespect, gluttony, envy, gossip, and the list goes on. Do I think all of these things are sins? Well, I believe that God thinks they are. I tend more to the “things I need to change” side of things than blatantly labeling them sins. But the theory goes that a sin is a sin, regardless of size, whether murder or anger or a white lie.

In order to repent of these sins, what must I do? Am I sincerely apologetic about them? Yes. Will i try to do better? Yes. Will I make sure there is no chance to make those mistakes again? No, I don’t think so. Then am I actually repentant? I don’t know. I’m willing to say I’m sorry, but I’m not willing to make sure I don’t have to say I’m sorry again. What would need to happen for me to say yes? A change of heart? A change of circumstance? A new brain that thinks differently? A change of perspective? And, why? Why am I not willing to make those changes?

If I knew for absolute sure, without any doubt whatsoever, that God exists, that Heaven awaits, that Jesus exists and died for our sins and was in fact the Son of God, what would I do differently? Where would my perspective be? I believe that the lack of willingness to change comes from a lack of certainty.  It comes from an underlying lack of faith that “God is who he says he is, that he can do what he says he can do, that I am who he says I am, that I can do all things through his son Jesus, and that his word is alive and active in me.” It also comes from my human-ness. Humans are not perfect creatures. Asking us to be perfect is an acceptable request, but is unlikely to result in much. We want what we want, we want to keep what we have, and we want to get more of what we want, whenever we want.  At least, I do.

Psalm 121
(A song of ascents.)

I lift up my eyes to the hills—
       where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
       the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—
       he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
       will neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD watches over you—
       the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
       nor the moon by night.
The LORD will keep you from all harm—
       he will watch over your life;
the LORD will watch over your coming and going
       both now and forevermore.