Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Today is good. I have plans which are good.

Curiously, they're not for tonight. I think I'm just staying home tonight; which, isn't bad, it's just not particularly special. My plans are for this week. Tomorrow, Jody's coming over for Europe planning. Thursday, Brett and Denise are coming over to watch the Fellowship of the Ring. Friday, Brett, Denise, Dad and I are all going to see The Two Towers. Saturday, it seems I have something to do, though I don't recall what it is offhand. And Sundays are for sleeping. Monday I have to go back to school.

I also have plans to launch a new business, I do. Which is daring, and young, and possibly lucrative, and exciting in general terms. And also a bit of work. But I can handle a little work.

What else do I have? Possible end of sickness in sight. I feel better today than I have. Ha, doctors! I scoff in your general direction. Who needs you, and your fancy "medication?" Not I!

Of further medical interest. My father's having his tumors removed Thursday. They're biopsying, I guess. They already examined him generally and took blood. They "don't think" it's cancer from the general exam, but they keeping making him go back for further testing. I'm a hopeful soul. So I figure I'll just blame it on capitalist buggers, probably getting kickbacks for requiring more exams. Yeah, that's the ticket.

I like Eve holidays.

Monday, December 30, 2002

I went down to Millersburg to buy Amish cheese today.

They have funny Amish down South. Our Amish are much more strict, apparently, and less friendly other Amish groups. I’ve heard a couple of times that our Amish are considered sort of backwoods, but the difference between Olivesburg and Shenendoah Amish and Millersburg Amish are like the differences between night and day.

For example, I was shocked to see that the Amish girl working the register, had some sort of fancy, lacy dress with red fringe on, and that she had braces in her mouth. The Amish where I live wear exclusively darkish clothing, and you can forget about lace or red fringe. And I’ve never seen an Amish kid with braces before. I kept wondering if they were maybe Mennonites instead of Amish, but according to the sign on the door, they were definitely Amish.

I heard the best conversation when I walked in the store though. One young Amish girl looks at the other Amish girl, and says: “I can’t stand driving with my mother! Every time I drive, she starts screaming! Maybe if she’d give advice instead of just screaming at me I’d drive a little better.” It wasn’t funny until I realized she was talking about driving a buggy. Some experiences are universal, I guess.

As we left, my dad turned to me and said: “Imagine having to drive with all that screaming! You know how hard it is to control a buggy when you’re hitched up to trotters!”

Yeah, well, country humor I guess.

Speaking of which, how can you tell if your local Amishman is a hillbilly? Check to see if he has any horses up on ramps in his front yard.

::rim shot::

Anyway, I had fun. It’s not often I get to feel all big city. Plus, I got some weird Amish candy called "Udderfingers" which was worth a laugh. I'm amazed they're not breaking copyright laws somehow. Maybe they are, and they're Amish, so no one important knows or cares.

I wonder if there's a difference between German Amish and Swiss Amish. All the signs down there were pushing Swiss this and Swiss that, and I'm pretty sure our Amish are German. Hmm...this Amish bit requires study.

My father told me a good story today. I've been feeling rather negative about humanity in general lately, but this story sort of renewed my hope.

My dad joined the Navy during the Vietnam War to avoid being drafted by the Army. They put him in radar school at Great Lakes. He wasn't overly fond of it, but it was mostly tolerable because radarmen had more freedom than most.

But one day the bigshots cracked down. They decided to start requiring regular exercise and conditioning. So, they marched my father's unit across campus, and into an adjoining field. The men were forced to do calisthenics, and then were ordered to start running laps.

The bigshots had expected something resembling order; running four abreast, keeping in step. But the men separated and formed disorganized masses. Suddenly, someone let out a low call of "moo." Soon there was an answer: "moo!" And another, and another, and soon there were hundreds and hundreds of "moos" ringing out from all directions.

The bigshots started screaming for everyone to stop mooing; they blew their whistles, they shouted and threatened. But the moo would not be quieted. The men ran and mooed and ran and mooed, and they could not be controlled. Finally they halted the run; of their own volition, not because of any order.

The bigshots couldn't let it be known that discipline had been so subverted; they dared not require a march across campus. They dismissed the men. Somewhere in the mass of passing soldiers, someone shouted out: "Make us do it again and we'll cluck like chickens!"

My father's unit never participated in a military exercise again at Great Lakes. The bigshots didn't dare to try. Subversion was successful; the human spirit, rebellious and free, reigned supreme.

Stories like that, more than any other, make me proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free.

Saturday, December 28, 2002

I'm sick. Yay! Hope it doesn't last long. But I don't do doctors, so I guess it'd serve me right if it did. I did actually take some aspirin today. So maybe I'm cracking a bit.

Is it odd that I want to watch Barbershop? Yeah, pretty odd.

I'm trying to figure out what I'm going to do for New Years Eve. I know I'm not going to any of the big parties I was invited to. I may go to April's for the Degrassi New Years Celebration. I may just stay home. Maybe I should stay home and ask people to come here? I don't know; I think my parents are going to be here and that might make them uncomfortable. I almost feel like going out to celebrate. I hate sitting around other people's houses doing nothing. But I don't know. I never know what I want.

Friday, December 27, 2002

Thoughts which trouble me before I sleep.

I’m having a difficult time deciding whether I’m exceedingly arrogant or exorbitantly self-abusive. They’re twin parts of my personality, I think. Which makes sense in a way because I couldn’t be exorbitantly self-abusive if I weren’t first entirely and unhealthily obsessed with myself.

The demons in the back of my brain keep reminding me of what a fool I am. Why do I have to be so stupid? Why do I let my tongue get away from me? Why do I let myself, in fact force myself, to suffer for these things? I’m so stupid sometimes. Pretension and stupidity; hypocrite!

But I know that I’m not worthless. I’m successful, generally. Much more so than many of the people I looked up to growing up. Considering my upbringing, I’m comparatively quite well educated and cultured. I know that I’m relatively intelligent and have better rhetorical skills than the average. I know that I’m generally a kind and generous person. I’m aware of many of my shortcomings and earnestly work to correct them.

That is, when I’m not obsessing over them, as I am right now. Such self-loathing! It’s funny that you can have a conversation with someone, and know that you performed almost flawlessly. It’s just the one tiny flaw that gets to you. Twenty minutes of brilliant dialogue destroyed by one slip of tongue or slight of mind. And you wonder if they noticed, and if they remember, and if they know what a goddamn fool you really are.

I hate feeling this way. I don’t feel this way so often as I used to. I’m reminded of being fourteen, and utterly despaired. While I realize that my emotions are probably actually insanely out of whack and stampeding blindly and wildly in a hundred different directions, I can feel almost nothing except a general sense of dread and disgust.

Other people feel things. They feel them, they accept them, they move on from them. Perhaps they explode in a fury of them; perhaps they shed tears or throw things or scream. I don’t. I obsess. I don’t feel. I deny feeling. I stew like my mother. I worry. I hate and I broil without ever sensing flame. I am loathing incarnate; life as a defense mechanism.

I close my eyes and imagine desolate scenes. Kingdoms ripped apart and children abandoned to their own filth and disease. I don’t know these realities. They aren’t mine. And yet somehow I yearn for them. They’re comfort and succor to my suspicious mind. I despise my melancholic melodrama, but I cannot escape from it.

When will it pass? When will I pass? My skull is aching. I can hear my heart beating and feel the blood rushing through my veins. I inhale and exhale to the tune of my thumping pulse. Life is fragile and suffering. Searching for a womb to replace the womb I’ve long lost.

I despised my contentment. This is my reward.

Well, I woke up at about 8 this morning. I hate waking up that early, and considering that I blogged my last at 3:30 last night, and didn't sleep for a few hours afterward, I was particularly disliking it this morning.

I arose, went straight to cleaning and changing rooms, and continued doing so until at least 3:30 in the afternoon. Then I went to town to drop some stuff off at Goodwill and get some food. And then home again home again, for more cleaning. I finally freed myself just now.

Today pretty much sucked.

On the bright side, I do have a computer in my room again. And, it is sort of cool to be laying on my bed typing. Indeed, I am so lazy that I don't even bother sitting up generally.

The new room looks okay. It's almost too sanitized or something. I painted the walls black in here when I was younger. You'd think it'd be all bad ass, but actually it's sort of sterile looking somehow. Plus, I have these stupid green blinds that my mom left in here that go with nothing in the room. They're like pastel. But I have a thing for imperfection, so, really, I'm sort of growing fond of them already. Besides, it was just so much cooler for my mom to have a black room than it was for me.

I realized that most of my decorations are kind of...I dunno...emo. For instance, I have two awards hung up on my wall. One says merely "Participant" and the other says "I Can Dress Myself!" I have a poster with an alien head on it that says "Full Scale Invasion Begins January First, 2001." The other stuff on my walls are mostly things people gave me that I feel bad not hanging up. I did keep my wicked blacklight posters though; I wouldn't let evil wizard head or swirling eye thingy go.

Maybe I'll ask Brett to let me borrow his digital camera in a few days and you'll get to see. Better be soon because I plan on messing it up real good soon. As my dad said to my mother today: "What are you doing with that dust? That's high quality dust! Do you know how much work it took her to get that much high quality dust in this room?"

I think I threw something out in my back carrying books. When did I get so many damn books? I seriously need to sell some.

In totally unrelated news, there's someone I used to love, and probably still ought to love, that I'm beginning to dislike. It could become a major problem. But said person and I have gone through these periods before, so I guess we'll probably weather this one too. I try not to worry much. Because, despite the occasional late night blog, I'm not really a very angry person and I don't hold grudges long. So hopefully it's all nothing and will pass, and things will go back to being fine. They really sort of have to.

I feel my electric blanket kicking in...sleep...

Incoherent ramblings from April, after she told me that sometimes when she closed her eyes she saw scary things like demons:

April: Satan's coming out of a trunk!
Me: What?
April: Satan's climbing out a trunk, the kind at the end of your bed. The wooden one.
Me: Ahh, okay.
April: I see radishes! It should be radishii instead of radishes. You don't say carrotses.
Me: Yeah, but you don't say carrotsii either.
April: Carrotses aren't radishii!
Me: No, that's true. They certainly aren't.
April: ::laughs:: Radishii! ::random silence:: Good Lord I'm fat.
Me: I'm so blogging this.
April: I see Scarlette O'Hara! She's tied up in the weight room in the gym.
Me: Maybe Satan's trying to steal her radishii.
April: That makes sense! Hey, blog that I'm Horn-ii.
Me: heh, okay.
April: ::random silence:: Nipple.
Me: What the hell? Where did that come from?
April: I just saw baby teeth! Like where there aren't supposed to be teeth! Like a tarantula! Satan's going to hell, and he's bringing spiders.
Me: Sick! That's nasty!
April: I mean Earth. Satan's coming to earth. Hey, Ewan McGregor in a top hat!

Thursday, December 26, 2002

I'm watching Annie.

Kathy Bates is seriously one of the world's best actresses.

I'm not overly fond of musicals though.

Tomorrow I'm going to change rooms with my mom. Should be good. I'll have a computer in my room again. But first, there's the suffering involved with changing rooms. I wish I had some boxes or something. My mom defines cleaning as throwing stuff out. She gets it from my grandma. I told you the story about how grandma threw out about a thousand dollars worth of my grandpa's false teeth. She also throws out his clothes if she decides he's not wearing them often enough.

I think I'm going to go through my junk and do some cursory pre-throwing out so I can identify the things which need to be hidden before she gets ahold of them.

I got really sick today. I have a kidney infection that I know of, so I've not been feeling great anyway. But I stood up to go into the kitchen and got pretty dizzy. I had that nasty pre-fainting feeling. I'm assuming it was some sort of blood pressure thing. But I got quite out of breath too. I'm not going to worry about it unless it starts repeating. I'm more worried about my health than usual because if I'm sick I can't go to Europe; and my lasting happiness depends on my ability to go to Europe.

Wednesday, December 25, 2002

I'm sort of depressed. Not surprising really.

It seems unfair that some people are so incredibly disadvantaged from birth that they can manage to ruin their entire adult lives before they've even begun adulthood.

How can you have faith in people who continually disappoint you? Is it right to try to help people who won't help themselves?

It's strange to be protective of people who sin so publicly. How can you protect a person's dignity without justifying their behavior? How can you begin to defend dignity in someone who claims, and behaves as if, they have none?

I believe that love can conquer all things. I believe that love can cover a multitude of sins. I believe that we ought each to love each other; and that, if we all really and truly loved one another, we would all find our salvation.

Mother Teresa wrote about seeing Jesus in the face of the dying. She said that we should practice love in our every day lives. She picked up one dying man, to help him die with dignity. And then another, and another, and another, until she became a living saint. I haven't picked anyone up. I haven't given anyone an onion.

When will I begin to contribute to the world in earnest? If not now, then when? How do I begin? Is it true that, knowing what it will mean for me, I really want to? Who am I that I should be so conflicted? Do the saints ever question the cost of their sainthood? Do great heroes have to ask why they should adventure?

Life is hard. And not so hard for me as some; which I'm discovering is a burden unto itself.

I'm so sorry for so much. And so alone. What I wouldn't give to hear the voice across the wire again. What I wouldn't give to build back the bridges I've burned.

I had a lengthy nap. It was lovely.

I had some candy. Which, also was lovely.

I'm considering another nap, which I'm certain to enjoy.

Stuff I Got For Christmas:

Let's Go Western Europe Guidebook
Collected Poems of Pablo Neruda
LSAT Prep Book
Raise High the Roofbeam Carpenters and Seymour: an Introduction
Phone Headset Thing
Norah Jones CD
French & Saunders Video
Sour Balls and Other Candy
Computer Golf Game
Farside Calendar
Air Freshener
Subscription to Time Magazine and Bible Archaelogical Review

Stuff I Gave For Christmas:

For Mum: Christopher Cross: The Very Best Of; St. Joseph's Children's Asprin - Years Suppy.

For Dad: Knife.

For Brett: Microsoft Train Simulator.

For Denise: Simon.

Over all, good intake and output. I think other years I've given and received more. But this year was sort of relaxed and nice. Breakfast rocked. I had french toast, regular toast, bacon, mt. dew and hot chocolate.

Tuesday, December 24, 2002

I'm a bit worried about my niece.

Having never spent a lot of time around pregnant folk while I was old enough to care about how pregnant folk behaved, I'm not really quite certain how they're supposed to act.

Is it normal for someone around 12 weeks pregnant to sleep all of the time? The kid went to sleep last night around 1 o'clock. She didn't wake up until noon; she was up for about an hour, then went back to sleep until five. We went to a store, came home, and by 6:30 she'd fallen asleep again.

I'm familiar with morning sickness, and I know that food will sometimes make a pregnant girl sick. But every time the poor kid eats she's close to throwing up; and sometimes she does throw up. Is there a time when this goes away a little? Anything she can do to curb it?

I'm more worried about the sleeping than the getting sick. But, I know she has a cyst. She can't drink caffeine because it makes the cyst bigger, and if the cyst gets too big it might muck up the pregnancy. Could the sleeping bit be related? Or is she just maybe bored as hell because she's not used to living in the country?

My other niece lost a baby earlier this year. Perhaps because of this, and because I know about the cyst, I'm a little overly concerned. Let me know, pregnancy buffs.

What Type of Villain are You?

mutedfaith.com /

I want Christmas badly!

I'm supposed to get up to go shopping in less than four hours. Don't see that happening.

And yet it probably will anyway.

I want Christmas! I want new books, and candy! Hell, I'm a fat nerd. But anyway, I want new pens, and cds, and magazine subscriptions, and surprises!

Christmas! I want things, by God! Give me things! I want stuff!

Really, while I do sort of want Christmas because of my bottomless greed, I also just sort of want it over with. People everywhere, emotions running wild bloody constantly, the need to leave the house more than once a week, it's all rotten. Every last bit of it.

But anyway, since it's almost Christmas, I thought it might be a good idea to detail my traditions. Everybody has Christmas traditions after all.

Christmas, of course, starts Christmas Eve. On account of my mother working third shift, Christmas Eve for me sort of starts when she goes to work. And then I turn on the Vatican. Why do I watch the Pope? I couldn't tell you; I'm not Catholic. I guess because it's what's on. And besides, some holidays only Catholics do right. And this Pope rules, but I've said all that before. I spend hours watching the Pope. Then, when the Vatican goes off, I watch the History channel. They usually have documentaries on the Apostle Paul or Jesus' family, etc. Then I write long emails to the folks I care about, and yet, never seem to write quite often enough. Sometimes I watch Mass on television after that; sometimes I go to sleep. In any case, soon after, my mom comes home, and my brother and his wife, and my father come over.

We open presents. I demand we do this first. There's much weeping and gnashing of teeth if anyone suggests otherwise. Afterwards we have Christmas breakfast, which is awesome. There's bacon and eggs for those so inclined, and French Toast for those who are more like me. And after that, there's playing with the stuff we got for Christmas, and cleaning up the paper.

What follows is a long period of napping and recovering from Christmas breakfast. Occasionally, there's intermittent periods of either going to visit relatives, or being visited by relatives. Napping is just the constant. Ahh, there's also my brother insisting on installing or setting up everything we got right then. It never works right away, and he's always frustrated, and it's brilliant really.

And then we eat Christmas dinner, which, after Christmas breakfast isn't as impressive. But hey, there's deviled eggs and pie, and who can complain? Then usually, one of my friends wants to do something and we go. One year, Angela and I saw a movie; perhaps we've done this two years, actually. Then another year, my dad and brother and I all went to see Lord of the Rings. And another year, I seem to remember playing 007 with somebody.

In any case, after a good time is had by all, it's back home and leftovers, and playing with the new stuff more and sleeping. It's quite nice when there's no theatrics. There's always theatrics though. Which is probably why I prefer my quiet Christmas Eves to my hectic Christmas Days.

Monday, December 23, 2002

So I bought my dad his knife. I opened the box to look at it, and it looks like it's one that had been returned. It looks used. This angers me. I'm going to let my mom decide what I ought to do about it. Annoying.

My sister's Klez virus still afflicts. Annoying.

I'm hungry as hell, and I don't know if there's anything to eat. Annoying.

My AOL is acting up. Annoying.

Sunday, December 22, 2002

News for today, my niece Brianne is coming to live with us until a "little after Christmas." This could be very good, or very bad, depending. Considering, for starters, that we've got lots of presents to open Christmas morning, and none of them are marked "Brianne," it could be troublesome. But I'm going to get her some stuff tonight. Trouble is, I have no idea what to buy a teenage girl for Christmas, given that, though I was technically a teenager once, and indeed technically of the female persuasion, I have never ever been a teenage girl.

I know she likes music. But I don't know what cd's she owns, or what cd's she wants, so it might prove a difficult buy.

I know she likes clothes. But, hell, do you see how I dress? I don't know what people are supposed to wear.

I know she likes candy. But, she's on a restricted diet because of the baby, so it seems cruel to tempt her.

Baby stuff might not be a bad idea, but she's only a few months in, and mom says you're not supposed to get baby stuff for anybody until they're five months in. Plus, we've no clue if it's a boy or a girl, and people are weird about insisting that things have to be either blue or pink, so, no go.

What are general things that people buy? Think for me, people.

Saturday, December 21, 2002

Lessons from today's shopping:

Do not take last minute advice from brother to go to a mall you've never been to, in a town you're not familiar with, and especially don't forget to ask directions supposing it's a small town and that it couldn't be that difficult to find. You won't find the mall, but you'll have the nagging suspicion that, had you not wasted so much time trying, you could have slept in an extra three hours.

Do not drive in Marion, Ohio. All roads in Marion, Ohio lead to Route 4 North, when all you need is go Route 4 South. It would seemingly make sense to just go the opposite way, but no, in fact, Marion, Ohio is miraculously located at the South Pole, so no matter what direction you drive, it's going to be north.

Next time you go to Marion, Ohio, presupposing as is likely, that you'll not listen to the above advice, be sure to bring a camera. There's a town just south of it (if you can ever find your way out of the pit that is Marion), called Waldo. And it would totally rock to have a picture that said "Where's Waldo? 1 mile south." Or say, standing by the city limit sign, so you could always say that you found Waldo. I realize that Waldo jokes haven't been cool since elementary school, but my total and utter lack of sleep has removed any remnant of taste from my brain. I honestly feel sorry for Jody, having to go to Europe with me, with my sorry taste in pictures. "Wittenberg Cathedral? Waste of time! Check this out, there's a town called Hamburger!, let's go there!"

Do not allow yourself to be cornered by clerks while in a candle shop. The stench will make you woozy, and the fear of falling down and busting everything in sight, is not a pleasant one.

In computer stores, don't let on that you know anything about anything, else the clerk is likely to take you for a kindred spirit and try to sell you obscure programs that you neither want, need, nor care for; and yet, because he's so happy to have someone to talk to, you just can't say "No, seriously, I'm not interested" on account of it would break his little heart, and after all it's Christmas.

Positive Points of the Day:

I have revived an old phobia of Route 4. Though rarely have I been lost in my years driving, the vast majority of times has had something to do with that drated road. It's good to remember that evil is still in the world, and it's number ain't 666.

I got to eat Greek food, yay!

I'm going to see the Lord of the Rings in a few minutes, and though I'm likely to fall asleep in the middle of it because I'm so insanely exhausted, it still friggin' rocks. Thanks for the Christmas money, Grandma, I couldn't afford to go twice elsewise!

Why does waking up in the morning always seem like such a good idea until you do it?

I fell asleep around 5 today, I woke up about 9 today, giving me a grand total of four hours of sleep.

Consequently, this was not quality sleep. Nay, this was, constantly tossing and turning, and waking to wonder: "HOLY $#*& did I sleep through the alarm? Oh wait, it's not set to go off for another three hours...God, I'll never get back to sleep" sleep.

Either I'm becoming more honest with myself, or I'm really not a very nice person at heart.

Even though I quite like John Mayer's songs, I can't stand to watch him. His head needs to be chopped off.

I'm greedy, waiting for Christmas.

I'm envious, hearing about a friend's good fortune.

I hardly need to point out that I'm gluttonous and slothful; I'm an American.

I'm doing pretty well on lust; well, so long as April's in Michigan and not talking to me about Joaquin Phoenix all of the time. (Note to self: We must rent Gladiator).

Pride? ::thinks:: I'm arrogant as all get out, so I suppose that applies.

While I wouldn't exactly say that I'm excited for Christmas this year, it hit me a few moments ago, that Lord I want stuff, and Christmas will bring that stuff to me.

I've never been the sort who cheated and opened presents before Christmas. Admittedly once I did accidentally find the guitar my parents bought for me hidden under the bed in the guest room, but it was an honest-to-God accident, and it was like June at the time anyway. But, tonight I'm feeling tempted because my mother said the magic words: "Don't go into my room tonight, I have presents for you sitting on the bed."

I've never cheated before, but damn, it's about to break me. I don't even think they're probably very good presents, but, bah, they tempt!

Don't look back, Lot! Don't turn round Orpheus!

Agh, how can it be helped?

Someone provide me distraction quickly, or I'll cheat, I swear I will.

Friday, December 20, 2002

Vacation for me has come to mean endless theological debate. Is it because I love it? Or because it's always in the back of my mind, gnawing away at my sanity? Or is it just convention? It hit me last night that I've been doing this for seven years. That's over a third of my life. Outside of frenzied reading, I can't think of anything I've done so consistently for so long a period of time.

I think everyone will see the Lord of the Rings before me, and I'll start to hate them for it. I'm rather hateful in general tonight, come to think of it.

Maybe it's because AOL kicked me off eleven times tonight. Oh, I know AOL sucks. I don't use it because I love it. I use it because I live in Rural , Ohio and don't have a lot of options. ELEVEN times. AOL customers, let us rise up once more, to rebellion and lawsuits!

At the moment, I'm sitting in a recliner, typing this. The room is very warm. To sleep I go.

Thursday, December 19, 2002

"Saddam! You got some 'splainin to do!"
"Aww, Georgie, WAHHH!"

Strike that bit about it being unreasonable to maintain a belief in Santa Claus. To the contrary, here are five proofs for the existence of Santa Claus. A doubting Thomas I may be, but clearly here, I've touched the wounds and do believe.

So the other night I was talking to an atheist friend of mine regarding whether or not it’s stupid to have faith in God. My position is that it’s not stupid at all to have faith in God, provided that your reasoning behind it is of a decent sort. That's not to say that it's never stupid to have faith in God; or that it's always stupid to not.

I’m of the belief that all people have faith in something, and if they didn’t they’d cease to exist. Even the most empirically minded person has to have some faith. As Kurt Goedel wrote it, on a subject entirely different: “In any non-trivial axiomatic system, there are true theorems which cannot be proven.” At our most empirical, we must still take base perceptions on faith. Why does two equal two? Well, ultimately, because we have faith that it does, and for no better reason.

People have to have faith in the most basic things. We believe that our perceptions are accurate. We believe that we have five fingers because it looks that way, and feels that way, and well it certainly seems that way. Is their proof for the idea that we have five fingers? Hardly! We can’t even prove that, as individuals, we exist. Descartes put forth a mighty effort. But he never really succeeded when he said: “I think, therefore I am.” What he really proved was that there was thinking going on, not that the thought actually belonged to him. It should’ve been stated: “Thinking, therefore thinking is.”

In any case, individuals have to have faith. Even the most hardened skeptic has to believe that getting out of bed each morning is worth something, or that eating is, or that, when he turns the key his car will start up. He may say he doesn’t believe in any of that, but at the base level he must, or he wouldn’t bother with them. You either choose to accept a little blanket faith, or you simply cease to be. If nothing else, it’s practical to have faith. And if you exist, quite frankly, you’ve got faith, so you shouldn't complain about the fact that others have it too.

So, we must have faith to exist. And insofar as it’s reasonable to exist, it’s reasonable to have some blind faith. That doesn’t establish that it’s necessarily reasonable to have faith in God. Faith in God, for instance, just to start, is not integral to one’s daily existence. One can function as easily without a belief in God, as with one. And God’s existence or nonexistence is by no means as readily apparent as, if you turn a key, the car engine starts. So how do we make the enormous jump from stating that it's reasonable to have faith and that it's reasonable to have faith in God?

There are millions of ways, of course, put forth by better armchair philosphers than me. You've got Pascal's wager, and Thomas Aquinas' many proofs for God, and I think Descartes did some and so on and so forth.

But quite generally, as for me, I don’t find it unreasonable, that even if someone only feels there’s a God, that they might believe that there is one. After all, people feel sure that there is such a thing as love, and that’s the best evidence we have for the fact. Joy is felt, not empirically measured. So, if you feel there’s a God, and there’s no evidence smacking you in the face to suggest there isn’t one, I’d say it’s reasonable to have faith in it. Now, I quite realize, that just because, for instance, someone may feel there’s a Santa Claus, that it doesn’t prove that he exists. But insofar as we can have perfectly present-less Christmas’, if we rely on no one but Santa to bring us gifts, it becomes unreasonable to maintain a belief in Santa. No such contradictions prove problematic for God; or in any case, not the one I'm prone to believing in.

Anyway, this could go on a bit. But I’m lazy, and this isn’t being graded. So there you have it, my opinion on whether or not it’s silly to maintain a belief in God. Take it, leave it, expand or detract from it, and debate it as you like. I'm going to go reread the Lord of the Rings mayhaps.

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

I heard a story from my sister the other day, which is disturbing me at the moment.

She got pregnant, I think, when she was seventeen years old. She was a junior in high school at the time. As if that wasn’t hard enough to deal with, her boyfriend died in a horrible car accident three months after my nephew was conceived. Due to a number of factors I won’t detail here, family life was extraordinarily stressed at my house anyway, without babies or sudden deaths. Consequently, for the record, I was an infant during this time period. But anyway, due to familial factors, my sister wasn’t getting a terrible lot of support from my mother or anyone. It looked like she was going to have to drop out of high school, and things weren’t looking good at all.

The guidance counselor at school was doing his best to keep my sister in school. But it was to no avail, because my mom was just as happy if she quit and got a job to take care of the baby. I won’t excuse my mother for that exactly, but as I said, she was under extreme pressure at the time and it isn’t fair to judge people if you weren’t there to see how things really were. Anyway, I guess, one day some lady walked up to my sister and offered her a place to stay. She told my sister that she would be expected to go to church, and behave and stuff. But that they’d support her and the baby until she graduated, if that was the way she wanted to go.

My sister didn’t take her up on the offer. She no longer remembers her name.

So, though perhaps it’s extremely selfish for me to think this thought about someone who was perhaps willing to take my sister in and selflessly shelter her, nevertheless I think it anyway. Who was it who heard such horror stories of my family, that they were willing to take a kid they didn’t even know under their wing? Did they have other children? Did they perhaps have children my age? Did they know that I’m the little sister of that poor girl with the rotten family life, and the dead boyfriend, and the baby on the way? What could they have possibly thought of me growing up? Did they warn their children to stay away? Did they tell their children to be especially nice since I had things so rough? Did they tell their friends and neighbors? How many people might have had the impression that I was an abused and battered soul?

Perhaps it’s no wonder that I grew up so anti-religious when nice religious ladies tried to steal my sister away for Jesus. And perhaps, on the other hand, my mother and dad never heard about any of it at all. I've always had a low opinion of the dumb baptists that populated my school district. And yet, apparently, one tried to save my sister and my nephew. How can I complain about that?

Vacation makes me content and stupid.

Also, seeing as my mother had to work a double shift today, and wasn't home to constantly turn down the heater, I've been rather warmish all day.

All of it together makes me sleepy.

I went shopping again today. Denise's stuff is done. I have to buy something for Brett. I went to buy his gift today, and the only available one had already been opened, so I decided I'd try to find it at another store. My mother's hell to buy for, so even though I've gotten her a ton of stuff already, I still need more. The woman asks for things like toothpaste and socks for Christmas, it's insane. I'd planned to buy a book for my father, but I can't find the one I wanted, so I have to think up something else for him. Maybe another knife. For years I've boughten him knives, and by the time Christmas comes along the next year, he's always managed to have lost them.

I wonder if mom's off work this weekend. The old man and I haven't made our yearly last minute trek to an out of town mall yet, and I don't want to miss it.

In the continuing saga of who can spot more people they know while out shopping, the newest totals come to: Sarah: 12; Dad: 4. It's breaking his heart that I'm kicking his ass. I love it.

Monday, December 16, 2002

"Christmas is coming, something something something, who'll let me stand by their old yule log? If you haven't got a yule log, a lump of coal will do. If you haven't got a lump of coal, God bless you."

We got our Christmas tree tonight. I picked it out. It's sort of ugly, which is the way I like trees, of course. I'm watching Boston Public at the moment. I guess I shouldn't be surprised they're exploiting the priest scandal, considering the other things they exploit, but it does seem particularly crass somehow.

I'm hungry. Wish there was some food here. The smell of tree is a hungry smell.

Damn, today is haircut day.

I hate getting my hair cut.

heh, irrelevant, but, last night my dog tried to bring a ten pound dead ground hog into the house. I was so proud.

Isaac, Terror of Small Animals, and Scourger of Souls! Hear his name and tremble! And then give him a dog biscuit. Or he'll bite you. He really will. Well, he wouldn't really, but he'd sure like to sometimes.

Yeah, just procrastinating on the hair cut.


Sunday, December 15, 2002

Last night I was indeed quite tired. But before I slept, I knew I had to put away some of my recently laundered clothing. So I pulled myself out of bed, stumbled into the kitchen to get them, put the buggers away and got the rest of my dirty clothes in the hamper, and went back to sleep.

This morning I woke up, and my clothes were back in the kitchen. I said: "Hey! I already put those away once!" And my mom says: "What were you on last night? You put them away in the hamper, and then piled a bunch of dirty clothes on top."


When I was growing up, I always thought God was boring. God meant sitting in hot buildings, packed with people, and being told to sit still and shut up, when you couldn’t because you were fidgety in anticipation of fireworks or parades or something else a hell of a site better than sitting still and shutting up while some boring old man droned on about stuff you didn’t understand. God was what got damned when you were too fussy with your food, or wouldn’t stop running through the house, or when you spilled or broke something. God was incomprehensible, and terrible and was going to get you if you didn’t bless your mom and dad, and grandma, and the cousins that you didn’t really like when you said your prayers. God was boring and bland, if not a horror. And I think Mencken said it best when he said that “The chief contribution of Protestantism to human thought is its massive proof that God is a bore.”

One of the things I like best about Catholicism is that its saints aren’t boring old men in polyesther. I love reading the stories of the martyrs and saints, because they’re people worthy of emulation. They live amazing lives. They’re heroic. They’re not kicking back in the suburbs, working to buy a bigger SUV. They’re out grappling in epic battles with the devil. They’re miraculously healing the faithful. Like St. Perpetua who had the presence of mind to put her hair up while she was being gored to death, because she didn’t want to look like she was in mourning at her martyrdom. Like Padre Pio, who suffered with the stigmata; who wrestled with the devil, and would emerge victorious though badly beaten; who miraculously healed the body and spirit or those who believed; who even had the power of bilocation. Like St. Daniel the Stylite who holed himself up in a church to cast out demons; who was so ascetic that he lived atop a column for decades; who was so inspiring that he threatened to usurp the heretical emperor Basilicus himself. Like Mother Teresa, who saw Christ in the face of the dying, and carried lepers and those whose very limbs had been chewed off by ants, on her own back so that they could die with dignity, and not in solitude. Like Pope John Paul II who heroically defended the dignity of man in encyclicals like Humanae Vitae in spite of a world which was embracing to birth control, abortion, genocide and ethnic cleansing; who threatened to lead a revolution against godless and bloody communist leaders who destroyed cultures, churches and human lives; who forgave the man who tried to assassinate him; who worked toward ecumenical harmony.

I’ve always felt that there was something empty in the Protestant God who manifested salvation by providing his elect with good fortune. The Calvinists hold that you can tell who God’s elect are, by their ability to store up material wealth and a good reputation in the community. The Catholics hold that you can tell who’s closest to God by seeing how much they suffer for God’s sake. The really great saints have always suffered for and with Christ. I think the Catholic view reflects a deeper understanding of Christ’s message.

My mom's buying her parents groceries for Christmas this year. It's hard for them to get out and shop these days, and they hate frivolous gifts, so it seems like a good idea.

But my mom just told me a story about them which cracks me up.

My grandma's only got one tooth left. My grandpa hasn't any. He had a set of false teeth, but he hated to wear them and hardly ever did. My grandma's a neat freak and it drove her crazy to see his false teeth sitting in the cup in the bathroom every day. So one day, she threw them away.

Grandpa went into the bathroom, noted his missing teeth and said, blandly: "Well, goddamn. Woman threw out my teeth."

And, though I don't think it's nearly so funny to write as it is to hear, good Lord it made me laugh.

Saturday, December 14, 2002

My joy has returned.

Jody called about Europe!

Yay! I'm going to Europe.


Oh, how I loathe Christmas shopping!

Masses of humanity rushing to and fro at the urging of a bitter and monotone adolescent manning the PA system. Mothers beating their children in every aisle. Thousands of “aggressive” drivers pulling out in front of you, crossing three lanes of traffic in one foul swoop, getting in wrecks and stopping up traffic at every light. The humanity! Humanity everywhere; infesting every corner.

On the bright side, I found the majority of the things I need to buy for Christmas today. I think I can condense the rest into maybe two trips. One for mom, Denise and Brett and the other for my father exclusively. Three trips are foul enough for one year.

I wonder how Mike and April did today on their ACT. I’m a little annoyed, I only pulled like a 3.7 something this quarter. Stupid Early Christianity class. I loved that class, and the Reformation class I took with the same professor last Spring, but they’re pulling down my frigging GPA. She grades hypercritically. I’ve never gotten less than an A on any paper I’ve done in college, except in her class. They’re interesting classes, and I like the challenge sort of, but it’s impossible to get any sort of A except the minus variety. In fact, come to think of it, I only got a 90 in her Islam seminar too, though I don’t really care since I took that pass/fail. On the bright side, I got an A in German and I’m right proud of that.

Ugh, my mom’s forcing me to help her write a letter to my brother now. It’s always depressing as hell to write Tony. I mean, he’s in jail for Chrissakes, how cheery can you get without sounding like a jerk?

Christmas is coming the goose is getting fat! Who'll put a penny in the old man's hat? If you haven't got a penny, a ha' penny will do. If you haven't got a ha' penny, God bless you.

Well, we had the first of our really quite serious familial battles over Christmas.

I need to be ready to leave at 2:30. 2:30 sharp. Not 2:25, not 2:35. 2:30 sharp. If THAT MAN HAS TO COME IN THIS HOUSE....blah, blah, blah, blah blah...

Family Christmas' make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Friday, December 13, 2002

I am linus

Which Peanuts Character Are You Quiz

I've had an odd time of things over the last few days. I had a good post all cooked up, but I lost it. And so now you get this instead.

Yesterday, I slept until five for no particular reason. That is, five in the afternoon, by the way. I had a relatively uneventful day until April got off work. She wanted to do something. So, at eleven o'clock at night, April, Mike and I went over to Angela's. We watched some videos we've made. We went to Denny's and had incredibly crappy service. We came back to Angela's and made her birthday cards. I got home a few minutes after 5. I watched French & Saunders spoof Lord of the Rings. I went to sleep around 6. I woke up at 8:20 to get stitches out of my mouth. Now I'm getting ready to make cookies.

I've had two and a half hours of sleep. I'm feeling rather irritable. So, if my father randomly tells me again that we're supposed to make the Pawlikowski's peanut butter cookies, and not the Volz's, I'm going to smack him.

Thursday, December 12, 2002

Tonight I'm feeling clever. And this is how I'm certain that I'm not really very clever at all. Clever people don't ever feel clever; They simply are clever. My cleverest attempts at being clever always fail; not cleverly, mind you, rather in an opposite orientation, actually.

So, tonight I'm feeling clever, and happy and contented. And it's nice for a change. As the Simpson's once put it, "Everything's coming up Milhouse!" and this, I understand.

It's strange how frantic activity inspires more frantic activity. Over the last two weeks I've been insanely busy, and while I'm generally quite good at doing nothing, at the moment I'm finding it difficult to sit still. I feel I have to be reading something, or writing something, or at the very lest redesigning my website. I'm forcing myself to try to relax. Despite earnest attempts at meditation, I've never managed clearing my mind, and so, though I'll probably try again tonight, I'll likely just...

Random change of subject. As an adult, if I saw a peer crying or throwing a fit, regardless of whether said peer was friend or foe, I would stop and wonder what was the matter with him. As a small child, I don't recall ever doing this. Is this because children are more egocentric, and simply don't notice or particularly care about said peer? Or is just because the occurance of small children crying is so much greater than the occurance of older folks crying, that I took it as commonplace then, and wrote it off as none of my business?

I did an awful thing today. This kid in one of my classes forgot one of her books, so I told her she could share mine for the final. However, I got done with my final really quite quickly; I was spurred on by the fact that my stomach was godawful upset and I was worried about puking in the middle of class. I know she was only just starting the part of the final that she needed the book for. But as she was just starting it, I could have been kept waiting another hour on her. And frankly, I wanted to go home since I'd already been testing my stomach at school for eight hours and I couldn't stand another. So I just picked up my book and left, and never looked back. I hope she did okay. It's not really my fault if she didn't, since she forgot her book on her own and all. But still, I do feel rather bad; If I would have shut my mouth and been less generous to start, she probably would've shared with someone else, and maybe she eventually did anyway. I couldn't have anticipated getting done early, I've used the entire two hours for every other exam I've had in that class. ::shrugs:: I'd be pissed at me if I were her, but, you know, hopefully I'll never see her again so...meh. And if I do, hopefully I can explain that I was sick and she'll understand.

I did another quasi-bitchy thing today. Revenge of the nerds I guess. Jeff asked if he could make copies of some of my notes for the exam, and I said okay. I did not say that he could have all of my notes, and do nothing on his own, and rely on my hard work (try six hours of compiling that junk) for his grades. So when he showed up for class and demanded my notebook, I told him no. He could make a copy of one page, so he'd better choose well. The copy he made had to be hand-copied, so at least he was doing SOMETHING. I was pissed. Why should I work for other people? Seriously, he had no right to demand all of my notes because I said I'd "help" him. When I say I'll help someone, I mean I'll labor with them, not instead of them. He'd already gotten four questions answered by me, including the two that ended up being on the test. So if he's not happy, well, screw him.

So, this quarter, I made many friends. I may have lost two of them today. One, justifiably might be a little angry; though, perhaps not, and the whole thing wasn't totally my fault even if she is. The other kid can take a flying leap for all I care, since he's a bloody leach and got on my nerves all of the time anyway.

I'm glad it's over.


Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Yay! Finished my last finals today! Yay!

My brain is mush now. I'm having difficulty forming the most basic sentences! Yay!

Freedom for a month! Yay!

Hey, I've really got...nothing...to...do...

::blank expression::


Tuesday, December 10, 2002

I've only got time for the quickest of blogs. Though, I'm not quite so panicked as I was a few minutes ago. The clock in my car said it was 12:30, and I just realized that I never set it for daylight savings time, so it's an hour fast. I need to fix that. So, I have an hour I thought I'd lost, and that's a plus.

heh, I just realized that I screwed over Jasmin on pizza money. I forgot to leave some, that is. Ahh, well, she didn't explicitly ask, so it's not a surprise that I forgot. I'll ask her tomorrow.

I had fun today. Sort of. It's a final day and those are always hectic. I woke up fairly on time, wrote a quick paper (which received the mark of A, yay!), and outlined some stuff for Early Christianity. I took my final, and while I don't feel I did terrific on the first 40 points of it, I think I did do a pretty good job on the second 50 points, and the of the remaining 10, I know I got an 8.5. So, probably around a 90 over all, which is good enough to keep me in A range, which is good enough for me, by God.

I was a little disappointed at Jasmin's because nobody else but Sean had worked on the questions at all. However, I had a good time, and got to feel important reading off my answers. Plus, free pizza, so, you know, who can complain? Jeff now thinks I'm a crappy driver, which I am. But hell, we only almost had like three accidents, so screw him. He can drive next time if he doesn't like it. And I was NOT about to run that red light.

Oh, and he's a wuss because he wouldn't ring the doorbell.

Anyway, I think I've got about 6 of 12 questions done for Early Christianity. Which means I need to get cracking. That's not even mentioning my German Final in the morning, though I'm not terribly worried about that one to tell the truth.

Aight, time to quit talking about how I need to study, and actually get up to study. ::sigh::

Monday, December 09, 2002

I slept in again today. I seriously love sleeping in. I was born to not do anything in particular. It must be true; I'm so good at it. I don't even waste free time like some people do, by going out with friends or taking care of a few nagging chores. Nay, I sleep in very, very late, and then I read a book, or stare mindlessly at the ceiling, before taking a nap, and eating, and going back to bed. I think there's something wrong with anybody who doesn't see the glory in that.

While ordinarily I go out of my way to praise capitalism and capitalistic society, this is one of the relatively few problems I have with it. I live in a society that's terribly concerned with doing something. It's irritating as hell. Everything has to be productive in some material, tangible way. Imagine, for instance, a friend going on a spiritual retreat; oh, not one sponsored by his church or whatever. He's just going to head up into the mountains for a few days, by himself, to think. We'd all say he was a crackpot, among other things, and lazy to boot. There are things that need to be done, by God! What's he doing fooling around in the mountains, when there are bills to be paid, and carpets to be cleaned, and for goodness sakes, spots on the windows!

And people seem to think that, even if there really is nothing that has to be done, you ought to go out and find something to do anyway. What's this? Your homework is all done? Your workplace is on shutdown? You've already cleaned the house, the car, the yard, etc.? There's really nothing that needs doing? Perhaps you should...umm...resort your socks? Paint the house? Hey, give the car a tune up! Why don't you go read next week's lessons, so you can get ahead on them, eh? Eh? Eh? To be fair, we might not be able to blame all of it on capitalism, the damn Puritans and their "Idle hands are the devil's workshop" probably contributed too.

I believe in unstructured time. I really do. I think there's a reason so many religious leaders of days gone by were simple shepherd folk. They had time to look up at the stars, and reflect on their place in the universe. In fact, they not only had time, they didn't really have any choice. There wasn't anything competing for their time. They didn't have television, or radio, or (oh sure, I'm especially guilty of this last indulgence myself) email racing across their consciousness.

All of this is sort of reminding me of a conversation I had with the professor I did my research assistant thing for last year. He was telling me about how every time he went to study for his citizenship exam, ad jingles would pop into his brain. I told him about how I couldn't read Marx at all without the theme from the Scarecrow and Mrs. King pop into my head. I guess I somehow associated Marx with Communists, with the bad Russians on that show, which I watched when I was a kid. The gungho language of Marx goes rather well with that theme though, so I guess it's just as well.

What was my point again? Oh yes. Though I'm indeed quite happy to have things like indoor heating and plumbing, and vision corrective devices, and means of mass, instant communication, etcetera, I wish we had a society which valued leisure time a little more. I don't believe that idle hands are the devil's workshop. I think busy hands are. Because busy hands are always about the business of making something, and that something is generally money. And we all know that money is the root of all evil, right? All of the old heroes, Moses, and Isaiah, and the Baptist, and Jesus, and Mohammed, spent time wandering and fasting in the desert. I don't care to do exactly as they did, but I wouldn't mind a nap away from the old regular schedule. And I'm willing to equate the two activities in my mind, because, well, in any case, neither are about materialism.

Big news in about an hour or so, I'll fill you in if it's anything good or bad. It'll likely be the grand news of: "Yeah, uh, we'll have more information for you in a week." You'll probably hear about that too.

Anyway, food calls!

Sunday, December 08, 2002

I Am A Rented Stepchild

What's Your Inner Child?
test by The Spark.com

Your inner child is the Rented Stepchild (NIDC) --who the world likes to kick in the head. Abandoned and left adrift you have issues with love, hate and everything in between. With all these issues going against your inner child, he still manages to put the *fun* in dysfunctional: when your inner child wants to laugh, he cries. When he wants to leap, he crumbles. Dance, sit. And so forth.

The cool thing is that all of these problems aren't that unconscious and can be easily "fixed." Simply buy a signifigant other, marry some possesions and then create stepchildren of your own. Pass off your problems to them, inheritance style, and you'll immediately start to feel better!

I Am A Mastermind

What's Your Personality?
test by The Spark.com

You are a MASTERMIND (SIAT). You can be silent and withdrawn, but behind your reserved exterior lies an active mind that allows you to analyze situations and come up with creative, unexpected solutions. Normal people call this “scheming.” Don’t learn German.

Anyway, your sense of style and originality are your strengths, and people will respect your judgment once they get to know you. If you learn to be a little more personable, you could be a great leader--you’ve definitely got the “vision” thing down. Just make sure all the plotting you do behind those eyes of yours is healthy.

Famous masterminds in television: Dr. Claw, The Scarecrow and Mrs. King, and Montgomery Burns.

Rant Warning: You’ve been duly warned, this blog contains angry ranting of the name calling variety. If you’re uncomfortable with such, don’t read it.

There’s a certain brand of idiocy in the world, which masks in religiosity to justify itself, which makes me perhaps angrier than anything else. I’m not an anti-religious person, but it took me a long time to figure that out. See, I grew up in fundie country, and when you grow up a non-fundie in fundie land, you grow up thinking you’re anti-religious.

I’m not at all anti-religious. I love religion. I enjoy reading scripture and prayer books, and I get my jollies fumbling my way through Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross; I’m inspired by Mother Teresa and Perpetua and St. Francis. I love religious art; some of my favorite paintings are religious in nature. So, I’m not anti-religious, and I’m not, in particular, anti-Christian.

But I grew up with an unnatural hate for anything I thought was religious because, from my very earliest days, experience taught me that anything religious was blind, stinking ignorant. I remember my freshman year in high school, I overheard two kids talking, two best friends. And one said to the other: “You like Marilyn Manson? You’re going to hell! I can’t talk to you anymore if you like that!” I recall going to an amusement park shortly after I graduated high school. We’d waited in line forever to ride a certain ride, and right before we got on, it broke down. My friends insisted God was punishing us for having used naughty words too often during the day.

I remember having religious debates with people who swore they were right, even when I had solid, incontrovertible evidence right in front of them, that they were wrong. They would insist, for example, that “the apocrypha” was added to canon in the Council of Trent in the sixteenth century. I would find the full-text of earlier Councils, as early as Laodecia in 313, which upheld the deuterocanonical texts. They would sputter and insist I was wrong. On what grounds? I was just wrong that’s all; I didn’t understand faith. And it’s true, I certainly don’t understand a faith that goes smack up against fact and insists that the fact is wrong.

It’s only recently that I’ve found that it isn’t Christianity which insists on being so stupid. It’s low church Protestantism. Oh, there are ignorant Orthodox, Catholics and high church Protestants, etc., too. But this is primarily a low church problem. Catholics may justifiably receive some teasing for tracing themselves back to St. Peter’s keys to the kingdom of heaven in Matthew. But they don’t deserve a thousandth of the teasing that Baptists deserve for claiming to have descended straight down from John the Baptist himself.

When I originally encountered Christian theology, the very first time anybody ever walked me through anything, I was warned against Catholicism. I was directed to read anti-Catholic tracts which criticized the “antichrist” Pope, the “worship” of Mary, and more. I believed it at first, because it was all I knew. But from the first I had reservations in hating Catholics. After all, for every three Protestants I knew, I’d heard five opinions regarding the most minute points of the end times; at least the Catholics agreed with each other. And you know, praying to Mary couldn’t be okay, but still, I wasn’t comfortable with all the trashing of God’s mother. And the Pope seemed to always be supporting what was right and condemning what was wrong and the antichrist wouldn't be about that, would he?

What really shifted me was that I started investigating ancient Christianity on my own. If that "extraneous" Catholic stuff was so wrong, why had it always been there? Why didn’t the Protestants have the perfectly valid scripture that the Catholics had, when they accepted so much other scripture and doctrine just on the witness of the Catholic Church? The Protestants had some points, I’ll give them that. But it was like G.K. Chesterton wrote (though laziness requires that I paraphrase only here): “Reformers are nearly always right about what’s wrong, it’s just that they’re nearly always wrong about what’s right.” I find very, very little redeemable about the modern low Protestant church. What I do find that’s worth saving is already found in Catholicism and Orthodoxy.

I’m drifting here. Back to my original point. I spent a day in a Christian chat room today. I should know better than to ever go, since they always make me mad. People claim to be experts on Christian theology because they know their Billy Graham. There’s endless idiotic speculation on "Revelations and the end times"; it’s enough to make a person vomit. But, through all that, what shines through are two main themes: Idiocy and Anti-Catholicism. I hold that they go hand in hand.

I will always love the Church, if for no other reason, than that I will always hate her enemies.

Saturday, December 07, 2002

I've slept an incredible amount in the last two days. Before my dentist appointment, I'd only gotten maybe six hours sleep. So it wasn't surprising that I was tired when I came home. By 11 o'clock or so, I was asleep, and I stayed that way until around 3:30. I managed to stay awake until around 11 o'clock at night, and then I fell into a rather deep sleep that lasted until 11:30 or so this morning.

So, in other words, yesterday I had at least sixteen hours of sleep; and if the night before is counted, at least twenty two. Not that I'm complaining, mind you.

I'm curtailing my Christmas celebrations this year. Only buying/accepting gifts where possible, for and from, the immediately family. Actually, more technically, just dad, mom, Brett and his wife. Technically, I do have another brother and two sisters who fall under the category of immediate family that I never get anything for, and who never get anything for me. Call me a Grinch, but materialism leaves me a bit cold; especially the sort that has to reach out to every friend, aquaintance, seventh cousin and pall bearer I've ever met. And I lack the spiritual capacity to care for the holiday in other respects. So it's not exactly my favorite of the year.

But I do like Christmas carols, and Christmas cookies, and watching the Pope on television into the wee hours of the night, Christmas eve. And I like to put up our "Christmas decorations" which have been misappropriated from our Jewish past. My absolute favorite "Christmas decoration" when I was a kid, was a menorah. Go figure. Ahh, though to be fair, my second favorite was a little statue of Brainy Smurf dressed up as Santa Claus.

My mouth still hurts a bit. But I think people really overreact on the whole, to the whole Wisdom teeth thing. Most people are put totally out, and they still freak about it. I was awake for the the thing and didn't take any strong medicine for pain, just over the counter stuff, and that only once, and I still didn't freak. I didn't enjoy it; I don't enjoy that I'll have to get the top two out next year. But it wasn't so bad. Part of the difference, to be fair, is that a lot of people wait until they've got infections or something, to go to the dentist at all. Mine were taken care of early, before they got to that point. So maybe my experience was just a lot easier than everyone else's.

Lord, what else is happening in my boring life at the moment? Just looming finals, and the urge to go back to sleep. And to eat. I think I'm going to force my mates into a post-finals celebration of some sort. Though I'm not sure what sort is the best sort. And I'd prefer it to be cheap as well. Why aren't there any good movies playing yet? Maybe I'll just take my niece bowling, like I promised.

Friday, December 06, 2002

Well, this whole thing has been most unpleasant.

My dentist was supposed tocall me to tell me to eat a big meal this morning, and to take some Motrin before I came in. My dentist did not do that. So, I did not eat a big meal, and I did not take any Motrin. Now I'm very hungry, with not a lot to eat, and probably a slightly sorer jaw than was necessary to have.

I couldn't stop myself from shaking today. It was rather bizarre. The worst part was when they put the needle in to numb my jaw. I didn't like that at all. But even that wasn't terrible. And, I'm not usually a sissy about pain or getting operated on, so I think it had to do with the drugs they had me on. I felt like a dork, anyway.

So, I came home and went to sleep. I just woke back up, and I'm hungry. I tried eating Jello. I could eat it, but it wasn't particularly filling. Damn, I'm hungry.

About to get my poor teeth ripped out of my skull.


Thursday, December 05, 2002


School is over! School is over! School is over! School is over!

Actually, I still have finals. But, until then, school is over! School is over!

::runs in circles::


I sang loudly, and purposely out of tune, all the way home.

I'm joyous, I am!

I don't know what to do with myself. I half have the urge to go finish reading my library books. I've got G.K. Chesterton's autobiography, and a biography of Padre Pio.

On the other hand, I feel I should spend my last remaining moments of being totally free doing something more...umm...upbeat or something than reading.

But I am a nerd, so, maybe it's just as well that I go read a book or two.




There are few sweeter pleasures than an extra hour's sleeping in.

On the other hand, I seriously hate deer season. Being a country sort, I find it disturbing to wake up at all hour's of the day and night to strange people doing strange things outside my house. Yesterday, a jeep was driving back and forth in front of my driveway; I know no method of deer hunting strategy that requires this, and yet, they seemed to do it for around fourty-five minutes. Today, a strange man, not even wearing hunting gear, was sort of absently walking down the road; he leaned on my mailbox to rest himself before walking on. It's a free country, and they're not really hurting me or anything, but I don't particularly like to have them around. I live in the country for a reason, and that's to get rid of excess population.

Then, though, I don't really like slamming my poor vehicle into deer, either. I have a friend who calls a car she used to drive "The Deer Slayer" for obvious reasons. I guess everything's a trade off.

Today's my last day of regular classes! And only two of them to go! Heading off to do my last little bits of homework for the quarter.

Oh, but, good news! I changed my schedule so I don't have to get up so early in the morning next quarter! I now have Biology at 11:10 (which is earlier than I care to have it, but it's the last one, so, meh). Then German 102 at 12:30. And finally, Art History at 5:30 - 7:30. Winter quarter may just be my lightest homework quarter ever; I wish I didn't have to drive to school twice a day. Trade offs, trade off.

heh, I just realized, reading over this, that it doesn't and didn't disturb me at all that the strange people doing strange things in front of my house, have guns. Yeah, I'm a country kid all right. I've been playing with guns as long as I've been alive.

Funny, short story. It's not as good in print though. Once, my brother wanted to shoot a tree with his bb gun, when we were both little kids. So he got right up close to it, only a few feet away, aimed, fired. And BAM, the bb reflected off the tree, came back and hit him right between the eyes. He screamed and rolled around. Ahh, you see kids, they really will put your eye out.

Homework, homework, homework...

Tomorrow, I'll upload my junk, and you can click on the links and read it, if you're so inclined. My Islam paper and my book review of Elie Wiesel's Night, that is. Just showing up to class and finals left to do, yay!

Hell, I know I've been boring lately, with all my talk of school. But I can't help it. It's all I know. Actually, I do know some other stuff, but I don't care to talk about it because it's just so lousy.

So, because all I can think about is school, and because I know no one cares to hear that, I'm going to tell a joke, I am. This is the first joke I ever remember being told when I was a child, though, in my house, I'm sure I'd heard thousands before. This is the first one I remember really understanding and repeating. Courtesy of my father, I believe.

So, it seems there was this naughty little boy who wouldn't behave himself at school. He got kicked out his first school, his second school, his third. His parents were at a loss. They didn't know what to do with him. One day his father was talking to the neighbor, and the subject of the boy came up. And the neighbor said: "Take him to the nuns! They'll straighten him out!" The father said he wasn't Catholic. But the neighbor said: "Nevermind that! Take him to the nuns, they know how to handle his sort!" The father had his doubts, but he was really at his wits end, and was willing to try it as a last ditch effort. Besides, they'd already exhausted all of the public schools in the area, and there wasn't a lot of choice in the matter. So he signed the boy up for Catholic school, and had a good talk with the school master, and then with his son.

The boy went to school his first day, and, remarkably, came home without a bad report. He went again, and still no trouble. A week passed, a month, a term, and still, no bad report and rather good marks to boot. The father couldn't believe the change. He was gloriously happy! But still, he couldn't imagine what the nuns had done to straighten the boy out. So he took his son aside, finally, and asked him straight out.

The boy replied: "Ach, dad, it isn't that I don't think to do the bad things. It's just, I can see what they did to the last guy who messed up in class. They've still got him hanging on the wall!"

Wednesday, December 04, 2002

I woke up oddly calm today.

I'd intended blogging yesterday, by the by, but blogger was down when I had the chance.

Anyway, I woke up oddly calm today. I should by no means be calm. If I don't sleep from now until next Wednesday, I think I'll still be behind in my work. But nevertheless, I feel very peaceful.

I had pleasant dreams last night. For the past few months I've had nightmares constantly and I haven't been getting as much sleep as I should. But last night was nice. I had strange dreams about people dying their hair; And I had a dream about him.

I think it's all the G.K. Chesterton I've been reading. I'm paraphrasing here, but something I read of his last night nearly made me cry I laughed so hard (I don't deny that I have an odd sense of humor): "All apologies to the freethinkers. But I still hold that I can think freely."

I have to leave for school soon. Oral exam in German. I think it should be quite easy. Fifteen minutes per group; each group with three kids. I have a known loud mouth in my group, so she'll doubtless kill some time for us. Outside of that we only have to say things like: "I am called Sarah. I am a student. I study History. I am 20 years old. I like to drink beer. I drive my car fast." Huh, that conversation seems to be leading somewhere. For the sake of German practice!: "Ich heisse Sarah. Ich bin studentin. Ich studiere Geschichte. Ich bin zwanzig jahre alt. Ich trinke gern Bier. Ich fahre meinen Neon schnell."

Tuesday, December 03, 2002

Holy Heaven, I actually finished my German History extra credit! I'm on schedule! Hell, I'm ahead of schedule! Life without procrastination is so...free! Not that I don't still have another paper hanging over my head this week, and an oral exam...and...damnit, this isn't very freeing at all.

I wish I was on the phone with April. I'm still playing Sixpence None the Richer. I'll continue doing so until I sleep. I've missed listening to the old standbys. Tomorrow, I'm busting out the Toad.

Monday, December 02, 2002

Full-text of my somewhat sloppily written essay on St. Macrina and Caesarius of Arles can be found here.

In other school news, I think I don’t have to go to German either Wednesday or Thursday because of our oral exams. Downside is, of course, I have an oral exam either Wednesday or Thursday. Tonight I’m going to library to pick up Elie Wiesel’s Night, which I can probably read and write at least the majority of my paper on before I sleep. That gives me Tuesday and Wednesday night to write my paper on Islam.

Friday, I have to get my wisdom teeth taken out. That’ll be fun, mixing pain killers and the urgent need to study and write papers. This weekend, I’ll only have one Germany History paper to write. My German language final will be easy; Early Christianity final won’t be bad so long as I plan ahead on the thing. The hardest will be German History, but I’m not terribly worried about it because I already know the question, it’s just a matter of planning my answer and actually writing it out.

So, I’ve set myself up for a rotten stretch of time. Good sense tells me to stop writing this now, and go do some work. I think I may actually do that. If I’m not around much for a while, that’s why.

Finished Early Christianity paper, will upload it for viewing later. Why? I don't know. Because if any of you have an odd interest in St. Macrina or Caesarius of Arles, you have the right to know. It wasn't really long enough, so I used some creative formatting. I think she'll know. I don't think she'll be able to do much about it though. The paper had to be six full pages long; using Times New Roman it was about six and three quarters long, maxed. However, with Courier New, it's about seven and a half, and that's quite a bit more than enough. So, meh.

Anyway, I love to make April listen to Sixpence None the Richer for hours because she hates it. She deserves to suffer.

I'm thinking about taking a shower tonight. But that would either mean that I have to take another tomorrow morning, or, conversely, that I wouldn't and I'd probably feel all dirty all day even though sleeping isn't exactly a filthifying activity. I think I just made up the word filthifying; yeah, that gives me hope for my paper.

Sunday, December 01, 2002

I have at least one paper to finish today. I'm thinking it might not be so bad. What frightens me is that it's almost too easy. I have to write about St. Macrina and St. Caesarius; things like: What made them saintly? Did gender influence ideals of sainthood? etc. The paper only has to be five pages long. I'm not sure I'll have any brilliant insights on the topic, but it seems I can pull five pages out of those documents.

After that, I ought to work on my Islam paper. It's not terribly bad either. I think I'm doing the one about gender in Islam. Basically, how has gender been perceived in Islam, and what sources (Qu'ran, hadith, etc.) have influenced these views. On the larger scale, how is it exactly that decisions are made in Islamic society? I can get seven pages out of that, I think. We'll see.

I'm starving at the moment. But no food until my mom wakes up, because we don't know if she's going to cook for my dad or whether he's supposed to eat with me. This is a weekly problem. And though we all know it's a weekly problem, it manages to never solve itself decisively.

Blog trolling, then I'm going to start on my homework. I really am. I swear and stuff.