Friday, March 27, 2009

Sea to Sea

I swam for the last time at the YMCA today, and realized that this was one of those benchmark moments. I canceled my membership at the Y because I'll be swimming at the university pool (crowded waters filled with upstart tuna). I will miss the Y, and the 'mom-and-pop' feel it had. I never even had to buy a lock for my locker there (although there was really nothing to pilfer except my shoes and pants, and if someone needed those items that badly, I say take em). So yes, the Y was good to me and I recommend it, specifically the Hilltop location. And a genuine thanks to everyone who helped pitch in to give me a birthday present that I milked for several months.

Here's where I would normally draw up some powerful and descriptive metaphor about how going back to school is going to be like hunting a giant whale. Instead, here's a link. Go read about Monstro.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Rainy Day Blues

Rainy day today.

This week I've weathered the most recent storm of college administration pinball, being bounced around from office to office this week, convinced that I am nothing more than an insect scurrying under the watchful eye of something monstrous. Despite the university's best efforts to derail me, it is now official: I am going back to school next week.

Parents-in-Law took us out for our anniversary last night to Alex's Bistro, a fancy French restaurant. It was might awesome, and I have discovered a deep-running love for scallops and banana rum crepes. The remainder of the evening was spent with me and the wife on one of our favorite nesting spots, on the couch with beer, chips, peach salsa, and Australia.

Today's to-do list: Clean house

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Dark Paths and Something Bright

Today I wield procrastination like an aluminum baseball bat. And I swing wild, not really aiming-- the real aim is to exhaust myself before I accomplish anything of import. The bat feels good in my grip.

Inevitable that more marching orders are coming down the pipe, regardless of how much I fight. School is coming, one way or another, in a week. Thank God. Thank God for new purpose and a plan that points somewhere.

Like bouts of microsleep, my mind will glaze over momentarily throughout the day with the prospect that I have failed in some way, that my proposed career as an artist has died without getting started. My eye twitches in spasmatic protest, and the brooding evaporates.

In fact I am pleased with the course of my life. The relationships with my friends and family have changed, matured with a deepening bond as we all get older and a bit wiser. We helped our friends move over the weekend and I can honestly say the pleasure was all mine. Here's what the Bible has to say about friends:

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. The commandments, "Do not commit adultery," "Do not murder," "Do not steal," "Do not covet," and whatever other commandments there may be, are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. -Romans 13:8-10

As a final thought, note the distinction between "love your neighbor" and "love your friend." Friends are natural and easy to love. Example dialogue between lifelong friends: "What's that? Why sure you can borrow my Ren & Stimpy DVD's, do you mind if I help myself to another cookie?" "Why certainly old chum! Go right ahead!" ---The real task before us is to love our neighbors, which is a way to say every other person. That's much more challenging; I've had to cancel all my complicated revenge schemes with this newfound faith.

Second final thought: That love-your-neighbor-as-yourself commandment doesn't say anything about trying to convert new proselytes every time you find yourself in a theological discussion with someone who has a different belief system. Instead, we should give each person the due respect and honor they deserve, and let them make up their own mind. By keeping God's commandments, your example makes following Jesus an attractive option, but let people choose for themselves. Religion is a lot like the balance between spouses in a marriage: unnecessary pressure creates friction and resentment, but mutual respect for one another's individuality and constant support make for a relationship that can only grow better with time.

OMG, I just blogged on religion. :O
Religious Blog Statistics
Capitalized God: 3
Angel Sightings: 2
Colons used: 7

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Cat and Olive Connection

Today I turn my back on menial household chores and college administrative hoop-jumping to shine light on a clandestine operation known as the Cat & Olive Connection. It's true: I stumbled across an international feline olive-smuggling operation that was uncovered when I found a dead foreign ambassador on my doorstep. He had been shot sometime the night before and had clearly managed to crawl up to the top of the stoop before dying. On a shred of paper in his pocket, the only clue: a hastily-scrawled note that read: Uncle Argyle is the key. Basement. Dryer.

Unable to decipher the meaing of this cryptic clue, I sat down on the couch and helped myself to a jar of olives. Who was this Uncle Argyle and how was he involved with the ambassador's assassination? The puzzle pieces were all there, I just needed to make them fit. My eyes drifted to the olive jar. And then I had my answer. Counterfeit olives!

I raced down to the basement, my heart thudding in my ears as I made my way to over to the washer and dryer. I flung open the door of the dryer, poked my head inside, and sure enough there was an entire underground facility dedicated to counterfeiting olives. And all operated by furry felines with nimble paws!

I rang Constable Jenkens, who was quick to lead a task force into the dryer to shut down the operation. Those pimiento-stuffing, olive-shucking privateers were wrangled and cuffed, though no one was able to single out the mastermind, that fiendish Spaniard known as Uncle Argyle. He had escaped without a sound, no doubt to plan some other wiley scheme.

As the Constable's vehicle drove away a solitary figure watched from a window across the street, purring loudly and nuzzling a jar of olives...

Friday, March 13, 2009

Maffmatiks Und Papierwerk

As I wade through the paperwork involved in going back to college, my thoughts flicker toward the deaths all those trees that are making this possible. Though I don't spend much time musing on their sacrifice because I am already on to the next step in the process, and the next, and the next. It does not end.

The smell of burnt electrical components follows me around wherever I go this week. I'm pretty sure I fried something when I took a math placement test on Monday. Equations and slope-intercept formulas have haunted my sleep since high school algebra all those years ago. It's true, I have avoided math like the plague for the greatest part of a decade. I scoffed at it all through my undergraduate career, and chortled with a superior air once I had made it to graduate school without even touching the stuff.

And now here, I found myself taking a math placement test to determine my worth. Principles locked away for eons in the dungeons of my cerebrum were dredged up; postulates exiled in darkness were granted a reprieve. A parade of logical horrors marched out of my mind and onto the paper, their tattering banners announcing the honest-to-God truth: math stays with you forever.

I stumbled out of the testing center in a mental fog, the smell of burnt wiring pouring from my ears. In the End of Days, Math will ride out on a white calculator and claim us all...