30 May 2007

Going Japanese, I think I'm going Japanese, I really think so

It's possible that there may exist just a tiny bit of sci(hypen)fi out there that I like. But don't tell my husband. (By the way, as a protest to my dying keyboard, I'm spelling the missing keys in parenthesis. Or dropping them completely. I realize this makes the protest nonsensical because my keyboard feels nothing and readers suffer, but I have to register my complaint in some form or fashion.)
Back to sci(hyphen)fi. My husband loves it. He likes Star Trek in all its carnations, Battlestar Gallactica (although I don't think he watches this one as much anymore), the one with McGuiver (now saving the world through hypertechnology rather than gum). And I've found that (oy, can I say it?), sometimes I might possibly tolerate Star Trek: Enterprise. Not the others at all, mind you. But Enterprise. Interesting plots, and I like the characters. I first got into scifi through a show called Eureka on the SciFi channel. I like it because the characters are quirky, and you've got a non(hyphen)genius as the sheriff who is just as confused as I am throughout the show. (By the way, new episodes coming in July.)
A couple of the Misfits are scifi/horror. Now horror would be too much because I suffer from nightmares as it is (last night's thanks to Ang (hypen) she'll know what I'm talking about). And I like what these Misfits write. And I remember liking Brave New World and the like in high school.
Here's what I'm discovering: scifi's are stories. Many components use futuristic or such aspects, but they're still stories. I don't like them if they completely depend on hightech future stuff. But stories are stories, and I always love stories. Heck, one of the novels I want to write someday may even be construed as scifi.
Luke, I am your father. But don't tell anyone.

29 May 2007

What I Like About You

It happened again, but I had already gotten out of bed half a dozen times to sit on the toilet and jot down on my notepad the bits and pieces of stories that paced my mind like a caged tiger. So when the idea for a savvy post and even savvier title (it was a song that fit perfectly, that much I remember) came to me at 12:47, I repeated it three times in my head and fell asleep. I swore I'd remember, knowing I wouldn't. Instead, I'm writing to you to tell you that I had a post par excellence. The fans will never know.
How about this? I'll list five things I love about my life. That will make us feel better all around.

  1. My sexy husband who holds me when I'm crying though he doesn't understand why (though I don't understand why) and thinks I'm crazy (which I may very well be). Oh, and the fact that he actually makes me feel beautiful (an amazing feat; I think he believes me to be beautiful) makes me love him all the more.
  2. My family. I grew up in a family that demonstrated faith in God when it didn't make sense. This was one of the greatest lessons I ever learned. And now there's my husband's family, which is my family too. A greater in lawed (pardon me, my hyphen key went out) situation cannot be known.
  3. My baby. You might think this my grand pregnancy annoucement. Curses on both your houses! This is my baby grand. As much as I love Chris, I'd be hard pressed to decide between the two. ;)
  4. Music. Not just the above, but the soundtrack that runs in my head. I love it.
  5. Writing. Back to bragging on Chris. He's the one who told me that I should look into doing this, really doing this, as in attempting published status (this drat hyphen key!). And then, to further support me, he said sure! Quit the office job. Teach private lessons and write all you want! (Even though this leaves us meager financially.) And I love it. Almost every bit. Almost. When I first started the fiction venture, I worried about coming up with new stories. Now, I fear not getting them all out, the stories and the characters, before I explode.

Thanks for indulging me. What do you love about your life?

28 May 2007

Review of The Character of Theology by John Franke

In The Character of Theology, Dr. Franke examines the nature, task, and purpose of theology as a postconservative evangelical. His approach follows the reformed tradition taking into account that theology needs both an understanding of God and an understanding of humans. Further, these understandings are not static but historically “have been developed and formulated in the context of numerous social, historical, and cultural settings and have in turn been shaped by these settings” (p. 14). Franke holds that theology itself is second order: only Scripture has a first order position of primacy. “Theology is a metadiscourse on the first order language of the Christian story narrated and expounded in Scripture. The content of this theological metadiscourse should always be viewed as second order, interpretive venture subject to further clarification, insight and correction” (p. 104). Theology is developed from the canon of Scripture, the tradition of the church, and cultural contexts in which theology is developed. Its purpose is to assist the church in its mission of participating with God in restoring good to His creation. While being responsible to the global and universal church, theology has flexibility because while Scripture does not change, culture does in local situations. Franke calls this nonfoundationalist theology.
In his discussion, Franke dissects the postmodern culture, which he clarifies is a descriptor of the “social and intellectual context in which we function,” not something we affirm or deny (p. sixteen: the number six is not working on my computer today for some reason). He takes a look at historic understandings of theological subjects, subjects that are not addressed overtly in Scripture but have been developed and assist the church in its mission. I could go on and on about what he says, but I’ll finish this summary with the specifics I appreciate about his approach:

  1. His thinking regarding epistemology. He understands that we all work with the influence of culture on theology. In other words, we all have filters. This is not to say that Scripture itself changes, but our theology does and should.
    Because of the above, his weighing of both the local culture and the universal and global tradition in understanding theology.
  2. His focus on the mission of the church. “The purpose of theology is to participate in the work of the Spirit by assisting the community of Christ’s followers in its missional vocation to live as the people of God, namely, as a Christ centered [pardon me, my hyphen key is not working today either] missional community, in the particular social historical context in which it is situated. Theology provides this assistance and service through ongoing critical and constructive reflection on the beliefs and practices of the church and the articulation of the biblically normed, culturally relevant, and historically informed models of missional Christian faith centered on Jesus Christ in order to promote the establishments of missional Christian communities” (p. 188).
  3. His commitment to community. This includes an understanding that “the church is more than the aggregate of its members. It is a particular people shaped by a particular constitutive narrative of Scripture, which spans the ages stretching from creation to consummation” (p. 179). Further, he stresses the need for unity among the different denominations as a vital part of the church’s mission to make Christ known (taken from John 17, which just happens to be one of my favorite chapters, even though we shouldn’t have favorites). He finds a place for the diversity within orthodoxy as different parts of the Body of Christ, and says that “the unity of the church is not to be found in full agreement concerning all the teachings and practices of the church but rather in the living presence of Christ in the church. What marks a particular community as a Christian community is its Christ centered focus, which shapes the missional character of its life together. By the gift of the Spirit, Christ not only serves as the example of Christian life and witness but is also a living presence in the midst of the church” (p. 192).
  4. His expansive understanding of the means and aim of theology: “Theology is a wider activity than just scholarship…works of art, hymns, stories, dramas, comic books, cinema—all these media can become valid forms for theology in particular cultures” (p. 188). As a musician and writer as well as a scholar, I love this opening for several reasons. It recognizes that whether we like it or not, theology is taught on screen and at concerts and through the music worship part of the service, perhaps more so than from the sermon (my thesis talks about this). It encourages those who practice these arts to take seriously their role in theological understanding. And it encourages scholars and pastors to recognize other influences and encourage them. Secondly within this expansion is a recognition that the confidence of a Christian comes not from indubitable knowledge but through living a life that follows the call of Christ.

Franke concludes,

“the purpose of theology is to assist the church in the establishment of Christ centered missional communities that promote the unity of the church and the pursuit of truth in order to foster this confidence for the sake of the gospel and the hope that it offers to a broken world. In this way, theology bears faithful witness to its subject and participates in the divine mission of reconciliation and redemption through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit” (pp. 197 thru [darn key] 98).

One more word: I love, love, love this book. I think it is a key book. That being said, for those of you who may be interested, it is difficult to work through, especially without some knowledge of theological terms and history.

25 May 2007


This episode of Three-One-Six, A Journal of Christian Thinking, highlights SoulPerBlog, an extension of creative Bible studies and a melting pot of brilliant minds. If you haven't been there, sciddaddle! It's thought-provoking. This morning, I read San's article about praying for our enemies, which is poignant to say the least, and closer along the lines of convicting.

Review - Straight Man by Richard Russo

Mike Snyder (found more often at The Master's Artist) recommended this book to me. Or he recommended the author to me. I don’t remember which. Point being, I loved it. Dry wit as well as compassion. Hank, the reluctant English chair of a small and shrinking university, sees a joke in everything, especially the growing absurdity of the squabbles in the English Department. In the laughter comes the realization of a life gone askew from missed opportunities and complacency. Russo keeps the drama subtle, even with the fake nose and glasses and threats to slaughter a duck on live TV.
By the way, Straight Man does not refer to sexual preferences but to the comic foil, the character who takes himself seriously, resulting in comic effect. Think Abbott and Costello.
Reading this book was one of the rare times when I read from the POV of an adult male and still became the character.
A last side note: Pete, if you are out there, of all the people I think would enjoy this book, you top the list.

24 May 2007

Lost and All That Jazz

For those of you who are Lost fans and haven't watched last night's season finale episode yet, STOP RIGHT HERE!
That being said, allow me to rant and rave a bit, my friends.
They did warn me. I knew it was going to happen, especially when Charlie asked about Desmond getting a flash and Desmond said no. Dead-um, bad word choice-giveaway. I'm very upset. I really like Charlie's character: the musician, the one who developed in his understanding of what it means to be human more than any other character.
Of course, Chris (my hubby, not the misfit) said that the actor (Dominic something-or-other - actors and actresses don't interest me outside of their characters) must have found something else to do and quit the show. That is completely beside the point.
So other thoughts beside that: um, yeah, Penelope just happened to be by some video broadcast signal the moment Charlie entered the code. I suspend several beliefs for this show, but even that was outside the range. And Walt? Funny how they've been on the island 90 days (or something to that effect - I think it's around a month for every year), but this boy has aged three years and looks like he might be hitting puberty. Speaking of, whatever happened to the dog?
And the flash forward. That was disturbing. My theory: it was Locke's funeral (is his name a play on the philosopher?), which is why no one was there. No family. No Oceanic people because he tried to stop them from getting off the island (also explains Kate's hostility). The "he" Kate referred to who would be wondering where she was: Sawyer? And poor Jack who can't move on and now has a ruined life. Just disturbing.
Okay, I've vented.
Almost. You know, while I'm on the thread. Let's talk Gilmore Girls. I still haven't seen the SERIES finale (and that popped up out of no where) because stupid Verizon can't seem to get it through it's DVR brain to record the show, even if it was set. Ten minutes into the encore performace, it occurred to me to check to make sure stupid (or stupit, as I say when really irritated) Verizon was recording. It wasn't. So I'm missing the first 15 minutes. I haven't watched those last 45 minutes yet because I think I need to be a little more emotionally stable to be able to handle it. My parents just left from all that mess, but will be returning in a couple weeks for an appointment with a surgeon (the next Crohn's step). And, though I got some great critique from Genesis (which encouraged me to work on rewrites yesterday based on their feedback, in between taking care of my sick niece, that is), I'm disappointed in the outcome. All that to say, don't say anything about what happens. I'll watch it sooner or later.
One more thing: a movie rec. Volver. Loved it. Loved the colors, the dialogue, the relationships, the strength of women. But talk about not having a single good male character!

22 May 2007

More Misfit Merits

What a stellar writer's group I've managed to sneak in! Besides the accolades I've mentioned afore, more kudos are due. The finalists list for Genesis is out! And on that list are:
Angie Poole
Chris Mikesell
Jenny Cary
My chest swells with pride. I feel proud that I was able to read these excerpts on the ground floor (and told them first how much I love them). Good job, misfits!
Oh, I don't think I ever posted that, in addition to all this (for only $19.99), Chris also won the Jesus Vs. Cthulhu contest in Coach's Midnight Diner (an offshoot of Relief). Cthulhu is some creature that sci-fi/fantasy people know. I had to be told, and I'm not sure I remember. But I know this: the story is good. Funny. Poignant. All those words you're supposed to use.
And don't forget to watch those bookshelves in 2008 for Mike Snyder's upcoming book! (I'd link to his blog, but let's be honest here. He never posts. Too busy writing actual books that publishers fight over, so I'll save myself the trouble.)

21 May 2007

Blaise Pascal and Christianity

Regarding Christianity, Pascal said something to the effect (paraphrase ahead) that if you come to the end of your life, and you were wrong, you haven’t lost anything. This may feel lovely when you live in Christendom (and by that, I mean a world in which Christianity is popular and has influence by political or economical means), but it’s not true and it shouldn’t be true. I’m sorry, but Christianity is neither a crutch or a stuffed animal to hold tightly during the thunder and lightening (although I do love thunder and lightening and I do love my stuffed animal, Big Foot, much to the chagrin of my husband, but I’ve had Big Foot since before I was born, so what can I do?).
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15 that if not for the resurrection, meaning both Christ’s and our future resurrection (without one, the other does not exist), our faith would be one big joke (which some of you out there believe it to be—and some of us live as the straight man for that joke). This same Paul was imprisoned many a time, stoned and left for dead, shipwrecked, beaten, and eventually killed for his belief. Um, if he were wrong in the end, I don’t think he would simply shrug his shoulders and say, “Ah, well.”
Christ told us to expect hatred from the world, and then he was killed. Crucified, to be exact, a painful and humiliating death. Of course, he was resurrected, and those of us who depend on him will be someday, as well, which is my point. A survey of the other apostles: crucified (upside down), exiled, beaten to death, beheaded, other sundry deaths including a combination of the above. Others? Well, Steven was stoned, others were speared. There was Jan Huss and Wycliffe and Joan of Arc and Jim Elliot (and his crew). More people have been killed for the Christian faith in the twentieth century than all other previous centuries combined. Of course, sitting in our recliners flipping through TBN and other such channels, we don’t remember that. We go to church to make business contacts or shelter our children (more on that one later).
Personally, I’m not so okay with the idea. I’m not saying Chris and I are martyrs or persecuted, but we have made choices based on our Christianity. Given up things that we’d rather have. I would love to travel. See the world. But when you work in ministry, the budget doesn’t support those desires. And you know what? I’d rather explore the new earth. But if that new earth doesn’t exist, man, I’m kicking myself for these missed opportunities. Sure, we have Christ’s peace and joy now, but the root of that peace and joy is the hope of a future with him in a harmonious community and perfect nature.
This whole thing shouldn’t be a half-hearted why-not decision. It shouldn’t be some heck-it-feels-good thinking. It’s deciding to serve a kingdom now that is underground and will eventually win. It would be like shuttling slaves through the underground railroad before the Civil War.
Just so you know.

18 May 2007

What does it mean to be human?

For those who haven't been to Sandi's blog today, you might want to follow this link to hear Bono's acceptance speech at the NAACP awards. Now, before you get all up in arms with me (I know some of you have differences with Bono and some of you think the NAACP a desolation), the reason I think this speech is so good is because he draws out our responsibility to love our neighbor as ourselves.
Plus, I just like Bono.

17 May 2007

Share and Share Alike (and Other Platitudes I Dislike)

Camping Story #2—Another Pot Story
So the next morning a representative from Xena’s site comes over to ours.
“Hey, you guys got anything to boil eggs in?” he asks.
Chris jumps up. “Sure. Will a coffee pot work?”
What? My coffee pot? The one I just bought two days before? My first actual camping coffee pot? And let me reiterate—COFFEE pot! Coffee, people. Do you know how much I treasure this? But I smile.
“Uh, you guys smoke?”
We shake our heads no.
“Your friends?” He gestures to Patty and Charl.
Another no.
“Cuz we could do a trade.”
And become the next Wandering Lady of Turner Falls? I don’t think so.
“Don’t worry about it,” Chris says.
“I’ll have it back in an hour.”
It takes an hour to boil eggs? I set my mental stopwatch.
An hour passes.
“Babe, do you think we’ll see our coffee pot again?” I really like that coffee pot. Sentimental value. My first camping coffee pot.
Chris shrugs. “Probably. But if not, oh well.”
But we’re poor! Whadya mean, oh well? Still, I smile.
Another hour passes. I want my coffee pot.
Not too much longer after that, the guy from Xena’s campsite returns the coffee pot. “Thanks. Sorry about the mess. I didn’t have anything to clean it with.”
Still smiling, I wait until he leaves before examining said mess. I open the lid. A thick layer of red grease bubbles on the top. Since when do eggs have red grease? I remove the inside percolating devices. Black, burnt food sticks to the bottom. I take it over to the river, rinse it as best as I can, then grab a spoon and start scraping.
My new coffee pot. Chris isn’t worried. It’s still usable. Get off what we can. It'll still boil water.
But it’s my new coffee pot. I scrub, and I scrub, and I scrub.
If a man asks for your cloak, give him your tunic as well.
Man, sometimes I dislike being a Christian. I like my tunic. Chris seems to get this no problem, Bob. He’s the most generous man I know.
Clink-clink, goes the spoon against the bottom. More burnt food (who knows what food) gathers in the water swishing in the pot.
Me, I get sentimentality attached to things. So-and-so made this tunic for me, or I wore this tunic when I first met Chris. But share I must.
I examine my pot. About two-thirds gone.
Share and share alike.
Hey, the guy was willing to share with us too.
So back at home, some of the burnings remain after cleaning and cleaning, but maybe these burnings can be the scars that remind me to share my tunic.

15 May 2007

Oh, what a beautiful morning

This weekend we went to O-O-O-O-Oklahoma where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain. We camped at Turner Falls, and for those of you who camp, I would suggest trying this area. The front area (more day trippers—I’m just full of songs today) was more commercialized, but the fall itself was magnificent. Swimming areas, a small stretch of sandy beach, and of course, a castle. Why not have a castle in O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A Oklahoma, yeah? Apparently, in the thirties an English professor at Oklahoma University built it modeled on middle ages English castles. It was his summer home. I guess profs made a bunch more back then. The tent camping area is more secluded. We found a spot right on the rushing river. You don’t really see the other campers. And you don’t see any lights except for the stars, which explode in the sky after the sun goes skinny dipping.
Saturday night, after dark, long after dark, a girl appears by our campfire. The guys were off to the side I think cleaning up something, maybe tying up the trash bags because of the raccoons. This girl, with eyes that didn’t focus anywhere just stands there until my friend Patty asks, “Are you okay?” with her South African accent.
“I’m looking for Xena. Is Xena here?” the girl draws in a breath of cancer from her cigarette.
As in the warrior princess?
“No,” Patty says, “Sorry.”
“I must be at the wrong campsite.”
Ya think?
She wanders away with a dim flashlight. The guys return, and we relate the story. Patty’s reaction: I hope she’s okay. If she’s lost, she’ll be lost all night.
My reaction: maybe she’s the Wandering Lady of Turner Falls searching for Xena’s campsite from the 1930s. The castle-professor had fallen in love with her, but she did not return the emotion, and now she’s doomed to search for Xena forever (because Xena saved her from his clutches in the 30s, or course).
My sweet, caring husband, upon seeing her flashlight again, goes out to help her.
Scenario number two: It’s a ploy. A trap. She lures away the men in the camp to torture them. Meanwhile, others come in and kidnap the women and children. I start praying. Please return my sweet, caring husband to me. And I don’t even watch sci-fi. (Although you should have seen my nightmare last night. Bruce Willis was my father, and he was not a good guy.)
Chris returns. What’s the story? we ask.
“She’s stoned,” he starts. We got that. “I asked her where she came from [cotton-eyed Joe, to keep up the songs]. ‘You know that area where you’re not supposed to drive?’ she said.”
We nod. We know.
Chris continues. “‘We drove there.’ I knew exactly where she was cause I saw that truck earlier. She said Xena—not the warrior princess—did you actually ask her that?” Chris asks me. I hadn’t. She must have come up with it all on her own in her drugged stupor. “Xena the Russian-” okay “-was with a group that jump started our car today and now we’re the best of friends and camping together.”
And they probably had a stash of something.
“When we got to this tiny stream, she turned her flashlight off, told me she knew where she was, and didn’t go any further until I had turned around,” Chris says.
I jump in. “So if it was scenario number one with the Wandering Lady of Turner Falls, she knew that anyone who crossed the tiny stream (River Styx?) with her would be doomed to Hades. If scenario number two, then she grew to like you because you were caring and didn’t try any hokey-pokey business and so she decided to let you go and return to the camp unharmed and in time to save us.” Of course, Patty’s husband, Charl, was still there to prevent aforementioned kidnappings.
Rolled eyes on all sides.
So back to the beautiful morning, Lisa Samson started it all, Mary DeMuth emailed me—along with several others—about it, fellow Misfit Michelle participated, and Robin participated then tagged me. Wshoo. That’s a lotta links, folks, especially considering the pic-in-a-post, too. Morning faces. Pure morning. And I took the picture. Second morning of our camping excursion. Pre-coffee. Unwashed hair. The whole business. But, I can’t bring myself to post it. It would take out the intrigue, and I need just a little mystery (for those of you who do know what I look like, just pretend). So here’s me enjoying the falls. Note: hair is unwashed and unfixed and in an awkward growing-out stage. And I rarely wear make-up anyways, so can this count? And pic was still taken pre-coffee.

14 May 2007

New Links

If you scroll down my sidebar, you'll see I've added some new links writerly related - articles I've found interesting and a few sites.
Here, just cuz I wanna, I'll highlight a few paragraphs from an article that's at least 6 mos old but still interesting from the byFaith magazine. The article is "New Direction for Christian Publishing" by Stephen McGarvey.

"Parochialism is a spirit that demands that we create only for the safely defined boundaries of our ethnic, ideological, and spiritual community…Parochialism has been a problem in the evangelical, Christian Booksellers Association universe of fiction, contributing to a perception … that the phrase “Christian fiction” identifies something narrow and artificial." Terrell continues, saying that Christians’ aversion to the depiction of sin in the arts damages the realism of Christian fiction. "The desire to avoid offending sensibilities in regard to dialogue and human situations often results in plastic, smoothed-over characters, and a holding back from the kind of writing that may evoke true inspiration and authentic villainy."
The evangelical community has balked at the depiction of sin in the arts. Rather than wrestle with it, evangelicals have largely expunged it, erasing anything from “Christian” novels that was difficult to deal with. As a result, “Christian” publishing began to carve out a niche separated from the secular publishing houses.

10 May 2007

Eight Random Things about Me

Sandi and Elaina tagged me, so here goes:

This is actually hard to come up with, because I think I’ve weaved in random things about me in previous posts and don’t want to bore you. Let’s see:

1. I worked as a church janitor one summer. Hated the job. Vacuuming rooms in August when the AC has been turned off for the week (in Texas, no less) is no fun. And why do the men’s bathrooms always have sticky floors no matter how many times one mops?
2. I spent a summer in Czech Republic teaching at English camps for half of it and learning about different churches in Prague for the other half (and trying to encourage the missionaries while I was at it).
3. I got married in Mexico with my toes in the sand (the most important part). Everyone was barefoot except for my dad (who married us)—he wore flip-flops that left the message: Bob-Was Here. A Mexican military strolled across the beach mid-ceremony. And someone staying at the resort became a Christian after asking one of the guys at our wedding what some of the things in our ceremony meant.
4. I’m addicted to the ocean.
5. I have a deviated septum so extreme that it prevents me from scuba diving.
6. I can’t ride a bike. I did seldom when I was a kid, was forced to in college in San Francisco after giving it up for Lent 10 yrs earlier (my thighs hated me for a week after all the hills), and then again on our honeymoon (where my new husband laughed at my stress at an oncoming truck on a very narrow road. I ran into trees, and he took pictures).
7. If anyone I know goes to Philly, I force them to bring me a hoagie (I’m from Jersey across the Hudson from Philly and grew up on the yummy delicacies).
8. I happen to be married to the sexiest man in the world, so I feel sorry for all the other women who can’t be me.

Oh, and the rules, of course:
1. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
2. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
3. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
4. Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they're tagged, and to read your blog.

I'm not tagging anyone, mainly because I'm too lazy to see who's already been tagged, but I'd love to see some fun answers!

08 May 2007

Review - The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

I confess. I bought this book purely for its looks. Who wouldn’t love this cover? First time I’ve done that, and it paid off. I enjoyed this book. It was Narnia-esque, but darker. Much darker. John Connolly took familiar fairy tales and twisted them until they bled. Think original Grimm’s on a Brom Stoker steroid. A little boy, David, enters into a magical land when life back home with a dead mother, a stepmother who tries to be kind but can never replace the real thing, a younger half brother who claims the parental attention that should be his, and a war (WWII – set in England). Nightmares intrude in this land—the nightmares of the king, and it is ruled by a devilish figure, the Crooked Man, who makes deals with the king putting the king in power in exchange for the king’s younger sibling, whose heart the Crooked Man needs to survive. He draws David into this world in hopes of making the same deal. David fights wolves and Loups—half man, half wolf, a slimy, oversize beast, and an enchantress in his travels. The book kept my attention and kept me entertained.
So in keeping with the thought that all good stories have something in common with The Great Story, I found numerous parallels here and there. The Loups, formed by a human female and wolf, reminded me of the Nephtali in Genesis. Of course, the Crooked Man embodied the devil and his ways of controlling the world by tempting people in their own evil (yes, it seems the idea of original sin exists in the story). I’m sure there were others—in fact I know there were, but I cannot remember them now because, heck, it’s been a long week (see below for those of you just joining us).
I read this book in the hospital and it did a good job of letting me escape while my dad slept between being stuck by some needle or other (the poor guy looks like he’s been in a car accident with the bruising up and down his arms).


My dad comes home from the hospital today. He and my mom will stay at our house for a bit, anywhere from a few days to a week. So some semblence of normal may possibly be restored. Then again, it may not. You never know with this crew!
So I've been disinfecting the house between flute and piano lessons today - no small task for our house. Not that we have a large house, but I'm not exactly the queen of clean. And I'm maneuvering around two dogs that hate each other. Well, one dog that wants to play and the other that hates.
I don't know why I called this post dy-no-mite except that I'm at the end of all things sane.

07 May 2007

Hospital Update

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. I'm at the hospital now, and the wireless comes and goes. My dad is doing much better and should be out in a day or two. He and my mom will then stay at our house for a few days before traveling 3 1/2 hrs to the middle of nowhere to go home. It looks like this crisis has passed, although the underlying Crohns issue is still, um, an issue (creativity wanes these days). My mom is now sick from nights at the hospital, so she can't be around my dad until she gets better because he has basically no immune system. Oy vey. Anyway, thanks again.

05 May 2007

The Sound of Silence

Let me splain why I went Paul Simon on you guys this week. Tuesday night, we rushed my dad to the hospital. He's had Crohns disease for 35 years, and it's being crawling up from its underground hole the past year and a half again. Tuesday night, bacteria from his intestines (TMI, I know) leaked into his blood stream from one of his many fistulas, and he went into sceptic shock. He's been in the ICU. Today, they're moving him into a regular room. Progress! I haven't had computer access and dare not open my blog reader today before heading back to the hospital. I'm sure it's scary full at the least. I'll be back to normalcy hopefully around Tuesday.

01 May 2007

On the Waterfront

She could've been a contenda. In fact, she was. Fellow Misfit Writer, Angie, was runner-up for the Relief Sacrament Story Contest. Normally, runner-uppers aren't published alongside the winners, but when the uppers are Angie, then who can deny? Her story, The Mating Habits of a Lizard, is incredible. I love her voice. It would behoove you to hop on over to Relief and order Issue #3 so that you can experience the greatness that is Ang.

The stork laid down his burden

He rested. And then he laughed and laughed and laughed.
A few months ago, I learned that I had four uncles I didn’t know I had. Yeah, that was an interesting conversation.
Mom calls. “I talked to your uncle today.”
“Um, mom, he’s been dead for a few years.” I google asylums. “Did you have a séance?”
“No. A new uncle.”
Of course. Silly me.
“You have four new uncles.”
Except my grandparents are dead, so I know they didn’t have some sort of second honeymoon and pull and Abraham and Sarah.
“Children of my dad and his second wife.”
So background: my mom’s dad left when she was five (I believe). The last they heard of him was a birthday card he sent for her eleventh birthday. My mom is the youngest of four. Her dad left, remarried, moved to Florida (which they new from the postmark), and apparently had four boys (which they didn’t know until a few months ago). My mom’s biological father is now dead. When he died, the oldest of the four boys, Brent, in addition to raising the youngest, decided to figure out this mysterious background that his parents refused to talk about. Were they in the witness protection plan? Was the mafia after them?
He found us. A long, complicated hide-n-seek game.
My mom and dad instantly loved the new family. Two peas in a proverbial pod. My aunt decided to fly down this past weekend to Louisiana (Brent’s house) to meet them. My mom, hubby, and I surprised her and drove down. One of the brothers, Brian, drove up from New Orleans.
And we laughed and laughed and laughed. Mostly at me, but I’m okay with that. Hey, that’s how things normally go, and being the drama queen that I am, any attention is good attention.
Brent is a bi-vocational pastor. He and his wife, Dee, own a nursery. If you need any planting advice or just want to learn, hop on over to his blog. When it’s late, he breaks out into Beaudroux and Tibidoux (nice spelling) jokes—Cajun jokes told with a Mexican accent (they lived in Mexico for a while). And his nursery is beautiful.
Brian is a driver for NAPA (not the wine country, unfortunately). My favorite thing about Brian: everything reminds him of a song. Sounds like someone we know, doesn’t it?
Bobby and Steven are the two I haven’t met, yet.
It’s fun having family closer than Virginia and New Jersey now.