Sunday, November 30, 2008

our little Jedi in the making

Adelle has a way of saying things that is really interesting. When Rodger and Angela visited us recently, they pointed out that her phrasing is very Jedi-like. She says things like "I should have a snack" and "I should go outside", almost like she's trying to use her burgeoning Jedi powers to persuade us. Next she'll be saying things like "you should buy me that toy" and as she grows up it will be things like "you should let me stay out later."

And, as an added bonus today, here are a couple of Thanksgiving pics:

Dogpile! - Adelle uncharacteristically jumps on top of our friends' sons

Evie's 1st Thanksgiving
. Yummy!!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Amazing Race marching

The Amazing Race, one of the few shows I would put in the category of "I love it" had an extremely funny scene in last weekend's episode. This guy Dan is not retarded (nothing against the mentally challenged, but the only word I can think of to describe him is retarded. He should get an award or something for this.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Turkey Day!

Happy Turkey Day! And speaking of turkeys, click here for some funny photos of our soon to be ex-president. I don't necessarily dislike the guy, but man he takes some funny funny pictures. Here's just one to whet your appetite. Enjoy!

Monday, November 24, 2008

'God's dead, what now?'

I was talking with one of my colleagues, who was an English teacher for many years, about Obama and how many people are looking at him as a messiah type figure. This is something that Obama admits he can never ever live up to. Then my colleague was talking about the idea that when there is no God, people make their own. The he shared some interesting quotes from a couple of poets which deal with the idea that 'God is dead' or rather that He's dead/ dying in our society. So I looked up Eugene O'Neill (American playwright and author), one of the guys he quoted. Here's a quote by O'Neill and a then passage that mentions Nietzsche in connection with O'Neill (emphasis mine). I think these passages very describe well what has taken place in Western society.

The sickness of our time
The sickness of our time lies in the death of the old God and failure of Science and Materialism to give any satisfying new one for the surviving primitive religious instinct to find a meaning for life in, and to comfort his fears of death with.
[O'Neill, “Letter of Aug. 26, 1926,” printed in “As Ever, Gene”: The Letters of Eugene O'Neill to George Jean Nathan, ed, Nancy L. Roberts and Arthur W. Roberts (Cranbury, N.J.: Fairleigh Dickinson UP, 1987, 84.]

Nietzsche and O'Neill
...But closer background inspection [of the philosophical contexts of certain works] exposes Nietzsche's and O'Neill's abdication from a God as a reconstructive move that critiques the deceptive man-made gods of their times. In Derridean terms, both writers preserve the existence of a God-function and only shift the ontology of its contents from the transcendental to the immanent: the individual takes over metaphysics and becomes his or her own god...

Eugene O'Neill was part of the intellectual movement that swept Western thought during the twentieth century, and swept the “old gods” out of its philosophy—and life. But unlike most modern thinkers, O'Neill was uncomfortable with the void left by so drastic a denial. His life, and especially his writings were a never-ending search for “new gods” to replace the old, gods that would be meaningful to modern men.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

song of the day

Knife Party (acoustic on the beach) by the Deftones from the album White Pony. This is one of my favorite all time songs:

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

change of scenery

If you don't understand the significance of the postcard, its this: we're moving to Chapel Hill, NC. So I thought a little pre-greeting would be in order. In short, our house is selling (we close on it Dec 4) and then we're off! I don't have a job yet, but its possible I could keep my AWM job and work remotely. So we'll see what happens.

Read Jo's blog for more details.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

self-help critic

A guy names Steve Salerno wrote a book called SHAM: the Self-Help and Actualization Movement. I read the first chapter of it online yesterday. Steve is an outspoken critic of the self-help movement in America. He views this movement as having handicapped American society and talks about some of its ramifications. Interesting stuff. Steve also has a blog called SHAMblog.

Here are a some excerpts from the first chapter of his book:

Quote from comedian George Carlin: If you’re reading it in a book, folks, it ain’t self-help. It’s help.

Recovery, Victimization theory...the message became Your needs are paramount here. It’s all about you. Recovering a healthy sense of self entailed forsaking your excessive or unhealthy concern for others—for in the twelve-step universe, such excessive concern came to constitute the pitiable emotional quagmire of codependency....

In his brilliant book Fat Land, Greg Critser points out that more than a generation’s worth of faddish weight-loss programs have served only to produce the fattest generation of Americans on record (Not insignificantly, weight-loss programs have become, in essence, self-help programs...

Divorce in 1960 claimed about a quarter of all marriages. Today it claims about half. Although thankfully that statistic is trending back down, American marriages have the highest known failure rate in the world...But how many Americans walk out the door because they no longer feel compelled to suffer so-so marriages in silence? Worse, how many Americans has SHAM conditioned to think their marriages are so-so, when in reality they’re pretty normal?

Nowadays, young marrieds of both genders may be a tad too focused on their own fulfillment, with catastrophic effects for domestic tranquility. I first interviewed David Blankenhorn for a magazine assignment in 1988, and he told me, “I think people today are less forgiving in relationships, and more inclined to walk at the drop of a hat.” He made an interesting point about the famous JFK quote “Ask not what your country can do for you . . .” and its relevance to a wholesale change in society’s perspective on the institution of marriage...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

pizza party

Our friends Mark and Abby had us over for a 'make your own pizza' lunch this past weekend. It was big fun and also a really great idea, especially for kids. Here's Adelle and me rolling out some dough. I have no idea what I was laughing at.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

yes, no, and Don Miller

Yes: I voted for Obama.

No: I don't think he's the antichrist.

Don Miller, author of Blue Like Jazz, has a fantastic post on his blog which deals with politics, Democrats v. Republicans, and Christians.

Friday, November 7, 2008

reading and listening to...

Before I switched from Xanga to Blogspot about a year ago, I used the 'Currently reading' and 'Currently listening to' tools all the time. Does Blogspot have something like that? If so I'm ignorant of it. In lieu of that here are just a couple plain old lists. Who needs fancy blogging tools anyways?

Books I'm currently reading

Duma Key by Stephen King - King continues to show that he's a master storyteller. His recent books have all been good, especially Lisey's Story. I've also been trying to read some of his older books that I've never read like The Dead Zone and The Shining. Along with Salem's Lot, The Shining is one of the 2 King books that I couldn't read parts of at night because they were so creepy/ scary.

How to Read the Bible for All its Worth
by Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart - the subject is evidenced by the title, but the book goes deeper into Bible reading and talk about things that help the reader understand the Bible as it was understood by its original authors and audience.

Power Healing
by John Wimber - for anyone who's interested in healing in any form. The first few chapters are autobiographical. The rest (that I've read so far) is about specific types of healing and how to address them. Has lots of stories, many of which are firsthand events from Wimber's life and ministry.

Airframe by Michael Crichton - This book is not all that great so I'm reading it really slowly and might not finish it. It certainly doesn't compare to Jurassic Park, Sphere, or my favorite Crichton book, Timeline. I only learned today (or may be it was yesterday) that he died. He was a great American author.

Books I'm recently read
Neuromancer by William Gibson - Gibson originated the idea of the matrix which the Wachowski brothers used in making The Matrix films. He also coined the term cyberspace. A must read for sci-fi fans.

Wizard's First Rule
by Terry Goodkind - this book was amazing. I may have blogged about it but if I did, I forget. If you like fantasy or sci-fi, I highly recommend this first book in the Sword of Truth series. There's actually a TV series called The Legend of the Seeker that will begin airing soon which is based on these books. It looks like a quality show.

The newest songs by Norma Jean and mewithoutYou. 2 great bands who continue to put out great music. Not for everyone, but great just the same.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

election day perspective

"It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to trust in man.
It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to trust in princes."
Psalm 118:8,9

Monday, November 3, 2008

Halloween 2008

I'm not a big fan of Halloween. Mainly because I can't get candy the way little kids can. Anyways, here are pics of our girls. Adelle and her best friend Carmen were both Cinderella and Evie was baby Tigger. They had lots of fun.