Thursday, January 29, 2009

Jenny Lewis


"Jesus Loved the Outcasts...He Loved the Ones the World Just Loved to Hate"

Court says private school can expel lesbians
"A private religious high school can expel students it believes are lesbians because the school isn't covered by California civil rights laws, a state appeals court has ruled."

I have no problem with the court ruling. My issues are not legal. My question, as a Christian, is for the institute: what have you accomplished?

I spent a healthy portion of my childhood in private, Christian schools in which the rules were of a much more specifically moral nature. I remember being flabbergasted when I read a rule book for the school I attended from K5 - 2nd grade, in which the punishments for wearing a skirt above mid-calf could be harsher than the punishments for stealing and where they could expel you from the school if you went to a concert of secular music (on your own time).

I am not immediately trying to address what is right or wrong, in these situations. I am simply trying to address how they are loving their neighbor by being puritanical. These two, young women might have been lesbians. If the school had a problem with the way these women were presenting themselves, I can't see how kicking them out of the school was an effective way of ministering to them.

They could argue that they were protecting the other students from being influenced by the sin of the two "transgressors," but by shielding these other students, they are making them ill-equipped to ever love the way Jesus loved: He immersed himself in the world of the corrupt. He fellowshipped with them, got to know them, welcomed them into his kingdom. He did not send them away.

Monday, January 26, 2009

We have similar grasps on history

Aristotle's Really More Of an American Eagle Dude
Girl #1, leaving the mall: Go to Aero... Ari... Aristotle.
Girl #2: Aristotle is not the same thing as Aeropostale.
Girl #1: Then where did I...?
Girl #2 (interrupting): History. You learned about Aristotle in history.
Overheard by: Ashley

via Overheard Everywhere, Jan 26, 2009

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Sacred

Jordan (I)
by George Herbert

Who says that fictions only and false hair
Become a verse? Is there in truth no beauty?
Is all good structure in a winding stair?
May no lines pass, except they do their duty
Not to a true, but painted chair?

Is it no verse, except enchanted groves
And sudden arbours shadow coarse-spun lines?
Must purling streams refresh a lover's loves?
Must all be veil'd, while he that reads, divines,
Catching the sense at two removes?

Shepherds are honest people; let them sing;
Riddle who list, for me, and pull for prime;
I envy no man's nightingale or spring;
Nor let them punish me with loss of rhyme,
Who plainly say, my God, my King.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Me and you...

"I don't want to have to do this living. I just walk around. I want to be swept off my feet, you know? I want my children to have magical powers. I am prepared for amazing things to happen. I can handle it."
-Richard Swersey in Me and You and Everyone We Know

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Shannyn Sossamon


Fading Out

I have this miraculous way of missing important trends. One of the biggest things I missed out on was the Amy Winehouse craze. I mean, you know, her music, not her going crazy. I caught that part. Of course, pop music can be so ubiquitous, that a lot of it I absorb simply through osmosis (or you know, I'll hear it in a store, or blaring from car radios). I'll find myself humming songs not knowing where I've heard it, who it's by, only to discover that it's been the number one song on the charts for weeks and weeks. "Rehab" and "Back to Black" were two songs like this. I vaguely knew them, could utter a couple of words of the choruses, but knew nothing about them for quite some time.

On the tail of spending a couple of days listening to Nina Simone, Patsy Cline, Billie Holiday, and a few other soulful greats, I found myself itching to listen to "Back to Black" again. There's really something extraordinarily special about this...her voice, the words. I don't know if it's possible for anyone who does not feel some deep sense of authentic pain could sing this song the way she does.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009



Reach out and touch somebody's hand

The other day I was involved in a group discussion during which a married mother made mention of the fact that many people, especially single people in New York City, receive very little physical touch. It was not something I had ever really thought about in that way...I mean, sure, I'd heard about all of the benefits of physical contact, but had never thought about it in relation to my own life.

Yesterday, the only people I touched were the people squeezed next to me on the subway and the two people in my taekwondo class I had to spar with. In my office, I have a slip of paper in which one of my old student workers wrote a prescription for "one high five at least daily." It amused me greatly when I got it and I've kept it for the past couple of years, and tried to live by it for a while. It forced me to seek out a bond with others, even if it was just a silly, 5 second high-five.

I think it's time for me to renew my prescription, and I challenge anyone reading this to do the same. And once you're feeling bold, maybe you should up the prescription to one hug, at least daily.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Photobucket I have been reading The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand in an effort to draw my own conclusions about it. (It is difficult because I am already biased, based on what I know of her philosophy of Objectivism and based on the opinions of many others who deride her work.) I noticed, more than once, her use of a question mark in the middle of a sentence. This is one of my favorite literary "devices" so to speak, and she did it well. My heart fluttered.

Today, I came across a word in the book which I vaguely knew the definition of, but which I decided to look-up, to have a deeper, more full understanding of it. On a whim, I went to my bookshelf to pull down my Random House Webster's College Dictionary instead of looking the word up online as I usually do. As I flipped through the pages of the dictionary, I found my heart fluttering once again. I'd forgotten how much pleasure I'd once received from actually touching the thin pages, highlighting words, seeing the other words around the one which drew me to the book.

Since I'd long fancied owning one of those large dictionaries that one finds chained to podiums in libraries, my reuniting with my dictionary inspired me to go online to read more of dictionaries. I found myself at this article: Searching for the best dictionary. The author, YiLing Chen-Josephson, compares a number of different dictionaries, grading each one based on stock, definitions, usage guidance, etymologies, and enjoyment. I found myself following along in my own dictionary, and the fluttering in my heart began to expand throughout my entire body. I got limbs tingled. These were not symptoms of a heart-attack, or some other physical ailment. It was like holding hands for the first time with a longstanding crush. It was like the moments before a first kiss.

When I went to look up "nonplussed," a word specifically mentioned in the article, I found myself staring at the word "orgasm" across from the page on which the "N/O" label is located. How appropriate, I thought as my heart raced faster. After I finished reading the article, I proceeded to look up "orgasm" on the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. I found myself titillated, not by the thought of sexual excitement, but by the differences between the ways the word was presented in each dictionary. The pronunciation guides are different. The etymology is written out differently. The numbered definition list versus unnumbered, separate entry for "orgasmic" verses a non-separate entry. And where is the verb form in the Merriam-Webster definition...?

I have nothing more to say. This story has no point. Consider this the anticlimax. From Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Juan Antonio: Maria Elena used to say that only unfulfilled love can be romantic.

Perhaps the point is that there can be no completion to this excitement I derive from these things. In grade school, I used to read the dictionary for fun, but now I use words clumsily and foolishly. I love them but they don't love me back. And that is what makes it so exciting.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Horror

"I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity."
-Dwight D. Eisenhower