Thursday, March 29, 2007


This morning I responded to Isaiah's incessant calls for Mama by going in and getting him up. He didn't seem too disappointed it was me. I took him up out his crib and we walked by the window. I noticed through the crack in the curtains that it looked like it had snowed. I pulled to curtain back and Isaiah exlaimed, "NO!" (It's not that he doesn't like the snow, he just hasn't mastered the "s" sound yet so that's how he says snow. I probably should have written "now" but then you'd think I meant "now" which isn't what I mean.)

When I got out to my car I discovered that despite little snow on the streets I had about 4-6 inches on my car. A big March snow is kind of a tradition here.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Lately I have been thinking a lot about how any of our notions of God must inherently be ignorant to some extent, because God is so much greater than us. The result of this is that I think we should be very full of grace in theological exploration and be extremely hesitant to use words such as heresy. Obviously, there are avenues of revelation that give us a foundation to make propositions about God. I'm not advocating absolute ineffability. In the midst of these thoughts, I am doing thesis research, and I came across this polar opposite quote from none other than John Calvin...

"We are not to essay anything in religion rashly or unthinkingly. For unless there is knowledge present, it is not God that we worship but a spectre or ghost. Hence all so-called good intentions are struck by this thunderbolt, which tells us that men can do nothing but err when they are guided by their own opinion without the Word or command of God." -From Calvin's Commentary on the Gospel of John.

This is Calvin's explanation of Jesus telling the Samaritan woman at the well that the Samaritans worship in ignorance. I don't really have time to go into all the details of why Calvin is very misguided in my estimation, but suffice it to say that once again he fails to interpret the Bible with any notion of the infinite grace of God. P.S. If you're in the market for a commentary on John, do not get Leon Morris' commentary in the NICNT series.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Poor Timing

I don't understand the sequence of neural firings in some people's brains. Today I walked into the bathroom at Starbucks and had to wait as someone was already positioned in front of the urinal can. (For the record it was not one of those small Starbucks bathrooms you're supposed to lock, that would have been awkward.) I leaned nonchalantly against the wall, practicing the virtue of patience in the face of discomfort. Then the dude in front of me did something totally whack.

I heard him flush the toilet and so I prepared to assume my rightful place, but he continued to stand there in the relief position for at least ten more seconds. Could it be possible that he had flushed before finishing? My fears were realized when I finally made my approach(after he left) and found the water to be a color that water is not, unless it contains additives (by that I mean yellow).

Why in the heck would he do that? What is the point of flushing if you're planning on adding more to the pot? Did he just get bored and think watching the swirling water retreat would pass the time? I believe this man may have a disease--one I will call premature flushulation. I believe his brain tells him that it is time to flush before that time has actually arrived. There is no cure for this disease, but there is help. If you or someone you know struggles with premature flushulation, please contact Ryan Lee for a free kit on helping you cope.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Show Ruiners

I hate freakin' commercials. Last night was the most insane display of a proliferation of commercials I've ever seen in a single TV show. Michelle and I are finally caught up on Lost so we turned it on to see the most recent episode. I think there were six commercial breaks in a one hour show (that's not exaggerating, there were at least 5, but I think it was 6). At one point there was only five minutes of the show between breaks and the longest stretch was ten minutes.

So now I'm going to start taping it because it made me not even like the show that much. How I wish I had DVR.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Kickin It

The last couple days I've been thinking about how much I'll miss the weather of Colorado when we move to mosquito infested Illinois. It's been absolutely amazing here the last couple days and my experience tells me it is most of the time here.

The thing that made me realize the depth of my loss was the chance to sit outside with my brother for about an hour on two consecutive days. We just sat together, talked, and enjoyed both the company and the weather.

I know this is a sappy one, but I really will miss it!

Friday, March 9, 2007

Time for Thads

Just in time for the weekend, it's question of the week time. I saw this lady on the Colbert Report the other day from China who does lots of economics stuff. She said that they have cities that manufacture particular items in China. I had heard of this before, but I always thought it was the made up fantasy of some awesome kid. What is not awesome is when people do not receive decent wages for working in these factories, but that is a discussion for another day. The question at hand is...

What city would you want to live in?

I think I would probably go for pogo-stick city or Heelys city. Heelys are the shoes with wheels in the heels. This would be the two most amazing cities in the world. Everybody would pogo or heel their way wherever they are going. What sweet glory these would be. They would have heel-through or bounce-through windows at fast food restaurants. In fact, I think they should be like the twin cities in Minnesota, so there's lots of pogoing and heeling back and forth. And maybe it could be like the Jets and Sharks in West Side Story, but with bouncing up and down and wheeling around. The possibilities are endless. Oh man. Now I'm really bummed that I don't live in either of these cities. I need to go find some tissues.

Ugly Coffee

I like coffee. You might even say I love it--in a watered down American cultural sense of love. It hugs my tastebuds and puts a hop in my step.

What I don't like is nasty coffee. The kind that makes me wish I was drinking V-8. You know the kind I'm talking about. Coffee that sits in a plastic bin on the grocery store shelf, pre-ground, for a good two weeks before you buy it. The kind they serve up in Sunday School classes. You choke this coffee down because you want to be drinking coffee, but your tastebuds pay for hours with the fugly aftertaste.

I found another such coffee today. I know many will disdain me for saying this, but I think Panera's coffee is nasty/ugly/fugly. I have had two cups of it this morning. I didn't like it at first, but I thought my buds just had to adjust. Certainly Panera's coffee has to be good. But now, two hours later, the stench in my mouth has only grown worse.

And what stinks most is they have free internet so I like to be here!

Waaaaah (That's Me Crying)

Last night I went with Oz to see Armor for Sleep, Underoath and Taking Back Sunday. First, let me say that this show was super-duper. Underoath brought the thunder from above and Taking Back Sunday kept the fury alive. But allow me to get to my point here.

WARNING: These are nostalgic complaints that may remind you of old men griping about the good old days...

The kids these days have absolutely no musical etiquette or respect. If you are unaware, Taking Back Sunday is really hip with the teenagers. This was an all ages show, so Eric and I were mostly ten years older than everybody there. Here is my list of grievances...

1. Cell phones. When I was in high school, when you looked out at the crowd, you would see the glow of a bunch of lighters in the air swaying back and forth. Now you see the glow of a thousand cell phones taking pictures that turn out terrible, or the glow of cell phones of people text-messaging their friends. You (or your parents...more likely your parents, thus the problem) shelled out 30 bucks to see these bands live and you are spending the whole time text-messaging, an activity you could do sitting on the couch, which costs nothing. One guy in front of me spent the whole concert trying to get pictures and text-messaging. I'm not sure he paid attention to anything the whole time. Ridiculous.

2. Crowd Quality. Last night I was a part of easily the lamest crowd of any concert I have ever been to. The cheering lasted approximately one second after each song. When I saw Keane, the crowd didn't stop cheering until the next song started THE WHOLE SHOW. When Keane left the stage, my hearing got messed up from the insanity of people cheering the whole five minutes it took for them to come back out for the encore. Last night, the cheering stopped by the time TBS got off the stage. About 30 people at the front started a pathetic TBS chant that lasted about 25 seconds. This was at the same venue as Keane, so it can't be crowd size. I felt bad for the band. Their lead singer came out after about one minute because I think he knew that's the best we would give him. What a lazy audience. Silly.

3. No Respect for the Rock. This is similar to the last one. Some of Oz's students were at the show and they left before TBS even finished their pre-encore set. They were wandering around the whole time. They went and bought stuff at the merch table while Underoath was playing, and it was underoath stuff. You go to a show to see the band. Figure out another time to buy stuff. These guys were not unique either. People were wandering around not paying attention the whole time. The whole side wall was full of people sitting around the whole time. Save yourself 30 bucks and sit in your room with the bands cranked way up. It's the same experience if you're going to just sit around. Here is the worst part. A whole bunch of the crowd left before TBS was even finished with their first set. Not only this, but they left during the most gut-busting, face-melting, mind-blowing explosion of rock in I'll Let You Live. Unbelievable.

I guess this is what I get for still liking metal/screamo. I want to go see Brand New on the 30th, but it'll probably be the same story. I guess I should stick to folk and canadian rock shows. The crowds there are super, but they're my age. Kids these days. It makes me worry about what shambles the scene will be in by the time Lydia is a teenager. Perhaps I will feel better after the RJD2/Pigeon John show next month (that's right RJD2 and Pigeon John, it's gonna be off the chain).

Thursday, March 8, 2007

(Not) Trash Talking

I feel like I have been slacking as Ryan has out-blogged me by about 4 to 1 in recent days. This has come as a surprise since he blogged about once every six months when he had his own blog. I think it's because he wants to show that he is cooler and awesomer than me.

The reality is that I talked him into playing "who can hit the softest" when we were younger and I'll never forget it. I got to hit him and he thought it was bueno because he won by hitting softer. Maybe that's because he's a pacifist. But I'm the one who used a pacifier.

What's the point of this you might ask. It sounds like you're picking on your brother. But that's where you would fall into the old trap of thinking one person is picking on another because they bring up the manipulations of their past. And that, my friend, is the oldest fallacy in the book.

Bocce Ball

I subscribe to the NPR podcast "This I believe," because most of the time there is some pretty great nuggetry. I just listened to the one from this week, and it was monumentally outstanding. Read the transcript here. It will blow your mind with honesty, intelligence and profundity.

I will also tell you that I needed this today. Yesterday I went to a "peacemaking" presentation at lunch-time that the DMIN office put on at the seminary. The guy presenting turned out to be a hyper-fundamentalist wanting to Reclaim America for Christ. We're talking straight-up christian imperialism. We got free pizza and it was totally not worth it. It was totally a fear-based fight for your rights as christians message. So thank you NPR, for making me feel better today.

Also, I have sucked at the question of the week, I know. But I thought we could ride out the question of the century for awhile.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Beebop & Rocksteady

I'm about to make a potentially completely illegitimate claim. Are you ready?


Here is the insanity descending upon us all on one fabulous tuesday...

-Neon Bible by the Arcade Fire - I have only listened to the iTunes preview, but it seems that like hope in James, it does not disappoint.

-Pocket Symphony by Air - I can't believe how much I love Air. Plus this includes a track with Charlotte Gainsbourg on vocals. What an amazing gift.

-No, Not Me, Never by the Photo Atlas - I know what you're thinking...this has been out for a year. But this is the Stolen Transmission release, which means sweet new artwork and presence on iTunes new release zone, which may perhaps equal more listeners for this incredibly deserving Denver band.

-From the Plantation to the Penitentiary by Wynton Marsalis - New Wynton Marsalis release...I need not explain.

-Four Winds EP by Bright Eyes - Once again, Bright Eyes blows us away with a release that has a pop feel. What? Yeah I said it.

-Don't Quit Your Day Job by Consequence - Here's Consequence's much-anticipated full-length follow-up to Take 'Em to the Cleaners and this time, we have the great Kane West producing and making appearances. D-Dang.

There might be some other stuff I am foolishly unaware of, but I think 6 releases that on their own would make it a good Music Release Tuesday combine forces to easily take the title of best Music Release Tuesday of the year. So that's a challenge to the remaining Tuesdays in 2007. Beat this Tuesday. I dare you. Ya heard.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Robot Dogs 4 Tomorrow!

Yesterday around noon, I was eating some lunch, and I turned on the old tv. I was flipping around in limbo because there is no NFL, and the AFL was on. If you are unaware, the AFL is the Arena Football League, the NFL's illegitimate nephew. Yesterday's match-up was Kansas City vs. Chicago. Apparently KC won the title last year, something I was entirely unaware of. As I was watching it, I was conflicted. Why do I dislike the AFL so much? They do lots of cool stuff, like nets on the sides of the uprights, so you can catch a missed extra point and run it back for a TD. Also, it's sweet to smash people into the wall and stuff. I guess I don't like it, because I want it to be the NFL and it is not.

So I was wondering if it was lame for me to watch the AFL and enjoy it, and then the best kind of product placement kicked in. I realized one of the commentators of the game was Ron "Jaws" Jaworski. I freakin' love Jaws. The times when he is on PTI are the greatest gems of the show. When he talks about football, I listen. So when I realized the AFL was something he could get behind and support, I felt great about watching it. I know that he probably only did it because he gets a bunch of money, but I don't care. With Jaws on my side, I will proudly begin loving the AFL more and more each week. Go Colorado uhhhh...I don't know what Colorado's mascot is. I only started getting into the AFL yesterday. Give me a break. Also, I don't yet know if I'm supposed to hate KC the way we do here for the Chiefs in the NFL, but I'm good with hating the title holders...even though the beat Chicago by about 200 yesterday. I guess they're pretty good.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

O Yonder Purple Star

Michelle and I were ordering some takeout tonight--from the On The Border (our nearest imitation Mexican restaurant), and I noticed a fancy little purple star next to some of the items on the menu. "What in the heavens could this signify?" I wondered out loud in my head.

I scrolled to the bottom of the menu and there was they key to answer my question. I found out that they purple star means that an item is a "border favorite."

I've seen things like this on many menus, something to identify house specialties, but I have no idea what value these are. Near as I can tell a "border favorite" is the most expensive thing in a certain part of the menu. I guess it's the owner's favorite because it makes her or him more money.

I was not seduced by the purple star.

Get Lost!

I am usually pretty skeptical of TV dramas. Not that there aren't some I enjoy, but it seems that over time one of two things happens--1) The same plot plays out week after week (e.g. CSI, Law and Order) 2) The story starts out awesome and then slows to a crawl so they can fit in more seasons (Prison Break).

When Lost first came out I remember people talking about how great it was, but I figured it would just be another disappointment so Michelle and I never took the time to watch it. I'm not really sure how it happened but a few weeks ago we decided to check out the first season of Lost on DVD. Now, a few weeks and many late nights later we've finished season two. Needless to say we love it!!

I really do think this is the best TV drama I've ever watched. I recommend you get Lost with us if you haven't already.