Monthly Archives: July 2007

I need a new body, this one’s broken.

I’m sick with a bad cold. John got it a few days before me. So, we’re home together. He made yummy pancakes for me this morning. For me and the kids really, but James wasn’t up so he didn’t get any. In fact he has only just emerged from his cave. It is currently 12:55, so I’d say it was about 12:30.  When I woke up last night at 2am I suggested to both kids (14 and 16) that it was getting late and they should get to sleep.  When I got up again at 4am, the house was definitely quiet in that way that suggests no one else is awake. I love that quiet.

So, we’ve spent the last few days watching movies mostly. All but one I would never have watched if I hadn’t moved my computer into the living room recently to hang out with John.

  1. Lifeforce – SO, SO, SO HORRIBLE, that it was kind of fantastic. Outer-space vampires, zombies, bad acting, worse acting. Patrick Stewart was in it. I’m guessing he doesn’t list this first on his resume’.
  2. The Haunting (The remake, not the 1940’s version).  I could never have watched this if i hadn’t been paying half attention to my computer while it was on, so i couldn’t get caught up in the scary stuff. Big names in this movie: Liam Neeson, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Owen Wilson, and Lili Taylor. Special effects were fun. Storyline was semi-plausible. Overall, however, it was quite ridiculous.
  3. Eight Below – I need a Siberian Husky now. SOOOOOO cute of a movie.It’s a Disney family flick, and I’m just a sucker for any movie about cute animals surviving on their own. I need to own this one.  Note to self: put on Amazon wishlist. (This is the one I got from Netflix for me to watch.)
  4. Million-Dollar Baby – Boxing movie? ugh. BUT, i was wrong. It was freaking AWESOME. Oh man i cried though.
  5. The Constant Gardener – Amazing movie (so far – it’s on right now) GREAT storyline. My fears come to life though. Were I brave enough, no doubt I’d be getting myself killed too. Oh, more crying. Now I see why all the fuss was made over this movie. Really well made, and difficult to watch because we know that it’s true in the real world, not Dypraxa, but other things.  Africans (and others from third world countries) are slaughtered by the greed of European countries, and it’s all “regrettable” and whistleblowers get killed, which is also “regrettable”. Do we care? Yes of course we care, but we as individuals are paralyzed by our powerlessness, unable to do much more than possibly “get involved”. And even as groups, large groups, there is still a powerlessness embedded in the fight, because the rich and powerful are above the law and can buy people off for a small sum to them. I don’t know all of that as fact, but I know it in the same way that I know I am not in charge of the company I work for, someone else is. I can take it or leave it, i can even change it, but I can’t direct it. I can’t change the mindset of the leaders. Fortunately, I work for a good company, and their work is all geared toward helping and not harming. Thank God.

Back to resting. I only have so many sick days you know. Got to get better!!

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I am now officially accepted as a seminary student at George Fox in Portland. The dean says there are students from over 40 denominations. That should make class discussions interesting… I’m not sure I realized there were so many Christian denominations, as I’m sure 40 isn’t all there is. I’m sure there isn’t one representative of every denomination existing.

Our group interview consisted of a group exercise on Values and Consensus. We were split up into groups of 6-7 people, and were each given a sheet of paper with 10 pictures on it. We were to identify what each picture symbolized to us individually, then, we were to rank each symbol in order of value to us individually (all within 5 minutes). Then  as a group we were to try to come to a group consensus on the meaning of each symbol (10 minutes), and then try to reach a consensus as to the rankings of the symbols. There was a staff member with each group to go over the directions and then watch and make some notes, but there was no further interaction once we had started, other than to let us know how much time we had left for each section if we asked.
The pictures consisted of:
A. a gold statue with a sword and weighing scales
B. a man holding a small baby and a woman next to him looking over at the baby and smiling.
C. a big red heart
D. an open Bible
E. a picture of very tall trees, grouped closely together
F. 8 different flags blowing in the wind. One was the USA’s flag, the others were not as discernible for me as I’m not familiar with them.
G. a brick building with a steeple and a bell tower.
H. a young child’s face with his eyes closed and his hands clasped in front of his mouth and nose
I. a smiling man with a white collar and a black garment.
J. a mortar board hat on someone’s head and next to that a gift card for a graduation.

The group consensus on the meaning of the symbols was this:
A. Justice / B. Family / C. Love / D. Scripture – Word of God
E. Environment / F. Culture / G. Church body / H. Prayer
I. Ministry / J. Education

The Group Consensus of rankings came out like this:
1 (C). Love
2 (D). Scripture
3 (H). Prayer
4 (B). Family
5 (G). Church Body
6 (I). Ministry of all people
7 (J). Education
8 (E). Environment
9 (A). Justice
10 (F). Culture

The biggest debates were as to whether Love or Scripture was more important, and then again with Prayer and Family. Interesting to note is that everyone in our group had those as 1 & 2, and then as 3&4 in their rankings. Nobody argued that Family was more important than Love or Scripture for instance. Once we got through Education, it became a bit of a toss up.

After this was over we reconvened as a larger group to go over “how did our rankings change, solidify, or remain unaffected as a result of group discussion?” and “how did we feel about the group exercise assignments?”. We were basically advised that if we didn’t enjoy this type of interaction and exercise that George Fox probably wasn’t the right seminary for us. Personally, I thought it was fun. I’m guessing we had the easiest group though, because lots of people talked about how difficult it was to agree on the symbols because of semantics, and then agree on values when people were coming from such diverse backgrounds. My group was completely quiet until one guy piped up to say, “well you haven’t heard anyone from our group speak up, and I’m guessing that’s because we had an easy time of it, it was very smooth with everyone getting their say and getting heard, but agreement came easily.”  My rankings changed through group discussion, but only because some of my symbols changed meanings after group discussion. The values didn’t change rankings, but the symbols representing those values changed pictures.

All in all it was a very interesting experience. Nothing like I had imagined it would be. Now I’m excited for class to begin!


Falling

Yesterday after work I fell down the stairs in my building. Not the entire staircase, but the last 3 stairs above the paving tile floor. My hands were full and everything went flying as I fell forward, not backwards. First of all, I think I’m damn lucky for not REALLY hurting myself. I left work a little late, and was laying on the floor wondering if i had broken my neck how long it would have taken someone to find me. Ironically that floor holds a naturopathic doctors office, a chiropractors office and an acupuncture and eastern medicine clinic, but no one was on their way in or out at 5:30 pm.

Today I go to the doctor’s at 2:30 to make sure nothing is really worse than I think, because my office says it has to be a worker’s comp claim since I was still on company business (taking the mail to the mailbox). That’s fine, i have a long list of minor complaints… bruises and abrations, a slightly twisted ankle. Nothing life threatening, or work interfering, just annoying.

Then, at 4pm I have a group interview at the Seminary I’m applying to attend. I couldn’t wear my normal work shoes with my ankle kinda hurting, so i’m wearing flip-flops. I’m sure that looks nice and professional.  I trust they won’t care as I’m applying to be a student and not a staff member.

Harry Potter film came out yesterday and this is the first one I haven’t gone to IMMEDIATELY. I don’t know if I’ll try to go this weekend or not. It’s not as if they can give away the ending… I’ve read the book 3 times. However, the new book comes out next week and I’m going to get it right away and then stay off the internet from the time i get it until the time i finish it, (generally one day) so that I won’t see any spoilers.  Bad enough I saw a tiny bit of a spoiler of LOST before I saw the finale, I’ll be really pissed if I see or hear a spoiler for this book!!

Ok, well, today lunch is being delivered to our office from Buster’s BBQ for my boss’s birthday, so I should probably get a couple of things done before then. Today is kind of a loss for work. I came in late due to my bruised and battered body, am having a long lunch likely for my boss’ birthday, then leaving for a doctor appt, coming back for maybe an hour or less, then going to my school interview across the street. 

Man I’m sore. Don’t try this at home kids, it hurts.


it’s too hot. moving makes me perspire. sleeping was difficult last night.
i would like to take a nap in my air-conditioned office even though it’s still too hot for me.
everyone else is fine. this makes me wonder about being pre-menopausal. God i hope not.
i have lots of work to do today, and no desire whatsoever to do it.
my eyes are crossing when i type. ugh.


I haven’t listened to patty griffin before, but almost everyone i know on xanga does, so i’m checking it out. love it already. i’d like to close my eyes and listen to the lyrics and float off on a memory cloud. i am at work. so this cannot happen now. it reminds me of lots of the folk music languishing on my cd shelves. using pandora.com so the first song was hers, now i’m gettin a song by an artist with similar traits in her music. it’s by anais mitchell. it’s reminding me of dar williams. now toni price. also good. ahhhhh… sippin’ my chai, relaxin’ into the morning. (beth orton, more patty griffin, now ani difranco. LOVING this station! HEE! Now Dar Williams. neat. KT Tunstall, ahhhh Eva Cassidy, be still my heart! Lucy Kaplansky.nice, i have one of her records too.).

At home, having moved my computer to the living room, at least temporarily, i’m “semi” watching a bunch of things i would normally not watch. hubby has very different tastes than i do. actually, broadened tastes is probably more accurate. he likes pretty much anything i want to watch, but i only like a fraction of what he wants to watch. but, he wants me to hang out with him in the living room. my solution? move the computer in there, (he uses a laptop while he watches tv), hook up the headphones, and when he’s watching something i don’t want to watch, i just crank up the music and drown it out. we watched the last couple episodes of LOST this weekend so now i’m all done. I tried very very hard not to read any spoilers for the finale before i watched it and was *mostly* successful. all i can say is….. wth?? start season four immediately you mofos!!! you can’t just leave us hanging like that! of course, the fact is they can and will. i can say without a doubt that this is my favorite tv show ever. “we” (i use the term loosely here because i was not paying much attention) also watched The Upside of Anger, Barton Fink, Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban, baseball, Seinfeld, Simpsons, South Park, Ellen Degeneres “Beginnings” (ok, that i paid full attention to… she’s hilarious!), and some other stuff i can’t think of right now.
Baseball game had a brawl in it. That was awesome! “I went to a baseball game and a hockey game broke out!” A’s vs. Mariner’s. Now, i grew up in Berkeley, which is next to Oakland. So, nominally speaking I was an A’s fan until I moved to Portland. Now I’m a Mariner’s fan. The term fan is used a bit loosely as i enjoy going to the games, but on tv is a bit dull. However, hubby is a FANatic, so he watches just about every game. Anyway, it was quite the scene. Emptied both benches/bull pens onto the field near the home plate. Baseball would be a lot more interesting to watch on tv if they could manage a brawl or two per game. Why do you think people watch hockey anyway? the FIGHTS! Marketing people, pay attention here!

Upside of Anger was interesting, though i watched somewhat half-heartedly as i was doing stuff in my game online. Kevin Costner played the character he plays best: washed up baseball player. I thought he was actually REALLY good in this. Just the right touch of emotions. The 4 daughters were well played overall. I only recognized 2 of them, but they all did a nice job, if under-developed. However, Joan Allen is …. AMAZING in this movie. She’s a bit of a “shrew”, which seems pretty reasonable given the premise of the movie. But she moves with pathos from drunken disinterest to righteous anger to biting humor to kindness and affection and then back again and through, at a moments notice to any of them, yet at all times beguiling. This was in my mind an Oscar winning performance. Perhaps it was a bit of recognition in myself of those feelings, for similar emotional reasons. Abandonment, betrayal, neglect.  I didn’t care for the narration of the film by the youngest of the daughters. It felt overdone and unnecessary. the director gave himself a part in the movie that was also fairly useless: aging lothario, not even attractive enough to explain how his part in the movie was supposed to be understandable. whatever, it was good.

Went to a party at our best friends’ house for one of the kids’ birthdays (Maddie) and mom’s birthday (Tracey). I invited Melissa to come with us and she did! We had a blast! At least, i did. I think she did!  She told me i have to stop that negative talk about my weight, which I know I shouldn’t do, but it’s so hard not to be disparaging of my flaws/failures. I WILL TRY! There Melissa, I will try. i promise.


Happy *cough* Independence *cough* Day!

Fourth of July, 2007… Independence = Freedom, Freedom = Not Incarcerated? So I guess Bush was just wishing Scooter Libby a Happy Independence Day, yeah?   I like that. Bush and his cronies have the freedom to do whatever they want, and we have the freedom to … bend over I guess.  Hubby says I should stop moaning about it and work for change if it upsets me so much. I say that’s an awfully good idea, but since i feel helpless to do anything meaningful there, I’m just gonna keep bitching about it to you all.  Actually, I decided that someone’s xanga about the length of time that this government is in existence is not even the blink of an eye in the scheme of eternity was right, and that instead of 1) bitching helplessly or 2) working uselessly to change the government, I would 3) do what i can to ease the suffering of those around me who are hurt by this government. I mean, something I actually have the power to do instead of being powerless.

But that’s not what i got on here to talk about. Probably more interesting than my intended post which was…. Fourth of July… we did nothing festive, but we played our computer games and watched movies and didn’t cook or do chores, so all in all a good day.  Watched Close Encounters of the Third Kind on Comcast’s On Demand service. It was like watching a new movie it had been so long since I’d seen it. I’d completely forgotten the plot other than “guy sees UFO, goes a little nutty with mashed potatoes and clay trying to make a replica of some mountain, a series of musical tones that i DID remember (amazing) and some aliens and a spaceship at the end.” So really, it was a new movie for me. Very enjoyable I must say. Also watched Only the Lonely with John Candy, Maureen O’Hara, Ally Sheedy, and Jim Belushi. Don’t normally like John Candy movies, but it was pretty good. John Candy was the normal person for once. That’s probably why i liked it.

Power just blipped at work, UPS beeping, shutting down now bye!


To Hell In a Handbasket

Scooter Libby gets his 30-month sentence commuted by W. I should not be shocked and surprised. But, I am. Disgusted and dispirited and despondent about our government.

I knew it was coming. But I didn’t really believe. For the love of God, why why why did anyone vote for that man? Why is it OK for this one guy to break the law in very serious ways, and the rest of the country takes the fall.


Ten Things I Should Have Figured Out Sooner

    1. “All you need is love” is a false statement.

 

    1. What I want to be when I grow up.

 

    1. Whatever it is, it’s not about me.

 

    1. “Bad boys” make lousy boyfriends.

 

    1. My parents were smarter than I thought. (They were, however, incredibly naive.)
    2. I’m a good mother. Step-mother. Parental figure. whatever. I’m good at it.

 

    1. How to enjoy exercise. (Not that i’ve figured it out yet, but had i, it would have solved a multitude of issues.)

 

    1. Quiet alone time is crucial for me. I’m an extrovert, so it never occurred to me, but I do. My nervous system hits overload otherwise.

 

    1. The journey IS the point, not the goal. The goal is the motivation for the journey.

 

  1. “Having fun” is not enough to give my life meaning. Because as soon as I stopped having fun, life lost its meaning. For me, there has to be more. I’m lucky to have found meaning in my life. Otherwise, I might not be here.

The “instructions” of the meme are to tag other people to do the same one, but that’s not me. If the idea intrigues you, make your own list, and by all means, let me know. 🙂