Monday, January 29, 2007

this conversation needs to be recorded.

b: i just wish they would stop using the random LATIN all the time. i hate that, when people speak in another language just to show that they know it and other people don't.
r: vas?
s: i could definitely go sans that.
p: it's a real catch-22...

nice, friends. nice. [and i'll really be okay with the latin, since i also quoted it MYSELF in this very blog. right.]

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

total one-up

or, instead of reading my post from yesterday, you could read diana butler bass's article, "beyond the stale rituals of abortion politics," on the God's politics blog today. she talks about hauerwas, which is always exciting, and has some interesting things to say about power. so just go ahead and read that.

Monday, January 22, 2007

on love?

stumbled across this while preparing for bible study:
Imagine this. What if there were a politician who could somehow speak of
love? What if there were a President who would not only talk of a kinder and
gentler nation but refuse to drop bombs upon a city like Baghdad? What if a
people's nobler hopes and dreams were addressed, their latent generosity and
fairness, their willingness to share with the unfortunate?

What if there were a liberal politician who could spare as much love for
human fetuses as he or she can muster for baby seals and trees? What if there
were a conservative politician who realized that words of love apply to
criminals and refugees as much as they do to unborn humans and middle-class
Christians? Such a politician would be a person whose professional life was
informed by a faith and love that necessarily yields justice.

It would not be easy. Jesus himself, after he announced the good news to
the poor, first amazed, then angered his audience. He was too ordinary and too
close to give such prophetic utterance. It cannot be real. He cannot be real.
Eventually they were filled with rage and wanted to cast him out. So it went
when he began his ministry.

How goes it with Christians today?

hey, john kavanaugh. i think that will be appropriate for today. what's our prophetic message? i don't think it's a mistake that next sunday's readings contain paul's famous discourse on love, jeremiah's "before i formed you in the womb," and the story about how people from jesus' hometown try to stone him when he preaches.

on the anniversary of roe v. wade, i'd just like to say that i don't think our current anti-abortion rhetoric is working. i'm tired of talking about how many babies are dying and how we need to vote for the people who will keep that from happening. it makes me really sad, for one, to hear more about death and violence and all this. it makes me wonder why we're still preaching to the choir on this issue. and then it frustrates me that it's not working and we're not looking at new options. there was a lot of talk last year about the pro-life movement and how we need to focus on reducing the number of abortions instead of using the "abortion is murder" tactic. one side yells murder, the other yells freedom, and we're still in the same place...

i don't know what the new options are. something about love. something rooted in prayer. something about realizing we're part of a community. something about a call that's higher than judgment and closer to taking care of others. something more personal, maybe. but i'm convinced that we're called to do more than what we're doing now.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

fabulous. that's right.

this was sort of hazardous to my life, as i heard it in the car and liked it so much that i wasn't so much focused on my driving. [check out librivox to download audiobooks for free, because they're all in the public domain and recorded by volunteers.]
Shams and delusions are esteemed for soundest truths, while reality is fabulous. If men would steadily observe realities only, and not allow themselves to be deluded, life, to compare it with such things as we know, would be like a fairy tale and the Arabian Nights' Entertainments. If we respected only what is inevitable and has a right to be, music and poetry would resound along the streets. When we are unhurried and wise, we perceive that only great and worthy things have any permanent and absolute existence, that petty fears and petty pleasures are but the shadow of the reality.
- Thoreau, Walden

Friday, January 19, 2007

your candidates...

i don't know exactly what a prayer is

ahhh. where has this poem been all my life? [well, it's been quoted in several AIM profiles. but that doesn't count as much.]

I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

Mary Oliver

Friday, January 12, 2007


the timing's bad, but this take on charlie weis is hi-larious.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

woooo minimum wage increase!

predictably, my comment on this piece of legislation will be "about damn time."

Sen. Ted Kennedy, in a press conference before the vote, called the bill a matter of both "family values" and "civil rights," citing the large proportion of black and Hispanic workers the minimum wage affects.

well, that's interesting. hey, family values. apparently ted kennedy is also interested in ending the "monologue of the Religious Right."

[you've got to watch the religious right... always monologuing...]

what in God's eye he is

if any you have not read this hopkins poem, please do so immediately. i was just looking through my notes from trinity class - some of you will remember a certain australian italian professor who shared many, many poems with us. love it. anyway, this particular one was referenced in something i read recently. i forget what.

i will keep the bad things from you
i will keep a straight face, honey

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

"i am not resigned."

there's an op-ed in the nytimes today called "taken by the tide," by billy sothern. it's fabulous. it's about new orleans and it's sad, but i loved reading it because it's so well-written. it's like reading a short story. [i know you can only read it today-ish, but i like going along with whatever the publishers are doing.]

i think i'm on a little bit of literature withdrawal.

and here's this, for all your grammar snarks out there. yes, i think this kind of thing is funny. i really laughed as i read it.

"i'm an english teacher. you do the math." this is actually a t-shirt that you can BUY. i mean, apparently everything is a t-shirt you can buy, but whatever.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

public service announcement

sooooo i emailed verizon to ask them to get the office theme song as a ringtone. because I LOVE IT and, you know, i'm going to be one of those people who asks for things.

so here's the reply i got from them.

Thank you for contacting Verizon Wireless through our website.

Good afternoon, I received your inquiry regarding searching for a specific ringtone. My name is Beth and it's my pleasure to assist you today.

To help you locate the desired ringtones, many Get It Now ringtone applications have corresponding websites that let you browse and preview their ringtone library from your computer. To find out which ringtone applications are available for your phone:

1. Visit
2. Choose "Get Tones"
3. Select your phone from the dropdown box on the left side of the screen
4. Click "Details" under the application's icon.

Below I have provided a list of the Get It Now ringtone applications that have websites for ringtone previews:

MIDI Ringtones:

To find the specific ringtone for which you are looking, please verify which ringtone applications are available for your handset and then visit the application developer's website to search their online catalog.

Each application developer is constantly adding new content, so if you are not able to find the specific ringtone for which you are looking, it may be available in the future. Some ringtone developers even allow you submit ringtone requests, such as Modtones.

Once you have found your desired ringtone within a ringtone application, you will download that specific ringtone application to your phone. Once you have the application downloaded, you can then download the desired ringtone from your handset.

We appreciate your business. Thank you for using Verizon Wireless products and services. Should you have additional questions or concerns, please reply to this e-mail.


Verizon Wireless
Customer Service

"We never stop working for you!"

really. apparently they actually don't stop working for me and then send me helpful emails.

seriously, did you all know this? i consider myself pretty good at technological things, but ringtones, for some reason, are completely beyond me.

that's my story, and i'm sticking to it.

Friday, January 05, 2007

all men and women are created equal

1. snark of the week is about a comment by mara liasson on npr that "there are these two 800-pound gorillas in the democratic race..." she's talking about the fact that clinton and obama haven't yet said they're running even though everyone knows it. but i hope that some interns in their press offices found that quote and laughed a lot. and maybe bought it to their bosses and told them that mara liasson called them fat.

2. "i don't know if the pants still fit, but i know the hat will." - harrison ford, on MAKING ANOTHER INDIANA JONES. oh boy oh boy.

3. i heard that ellison was making a "politically savvy" move regarding people being mad that he's swearing in on the koran. i was like, aw hell, someone told him not to do it. but guess what. he's swearing on on THOMAS JEFFERSON'S KORAN. because thomas jefferson had the koran. take that, people who say that this country is built on christianity alone. you can't argue with mr. jefferson.

4. here's something troubling. i mean, it's been bothering me for a while. i was reading the reviews on the book a daring promise, by richard gaillardetz.

here's the first one, that made me say hmmm, looks good:

Gaillardetz has served on the Catholic delegation in the Methodist-Catholic dialogues, and his writing reflects his ecumenical sensitivity. As a Methodist myself (married to a Catholic), I very much appreciate his tone. It is a pleasant change from those Catholic authors who write with what I call the "fullness of truth" attitude. I also appreciate the author's sensitivity to those who are unable or choose not to have children. Overall, I highly recommend this book to Christians (Catholics and non-Catholics alike) who seek a practical framework for making sense of Christian marriage.

this, from a catholic theologian [self-proclaimed]:

I must disagree with those who say that G is unfaithful to the magisterial teaching on contraception. On the contrary, he presents the official teaching accurately and sympathetically. At the same time he is candid about the difficulty of adhering strictly to the discipline of natural family planning, but cautions readers against ignoring the discipline simply because it isn't easy.

and then this one:

The other item was his flawed view of conscience. When talking about the Catholic Church's teaching on contraception, he does a decent job of explaining why the Church teaches against it, but in almost the last sentence about the subject he says that if you still don't buy it and your conscience tells you the teaching against contraception is not for you, then you must follow your conscience and dissent from the Church's authoritative teachings. He should reread the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 1792: CCC 1792 Ignorance of Christ and his Gospel, bad example given by others, enslavement to one's passions, assertion of a mistaken notion of autonomy of conscience, rejection of the Church's authority and her teaching, lack of conversion and of charity: these can be at the source of errors of judgment in moral conduct.

okay, first of all, the last post is crappily written, which you all know makes me completely prejudiced. [keeping me humble: the fact that i can't spell prejudice without thinking really hard.] but because i'd like us all to have legitimate opinions, i'd like people to express their ideas in ways that appear reasonable. you know? all right, i'm a style-ist.

at any rate, it's not a catholic book, it's a "christian marriage" book. and birth control, i believe, is not an issue of public morality - or, at least, i think that's what this speech i've been meaning to read is going to say. i worry that the emphasis on morality above all else is distracting and divisive. more about this later, i think.

5. "Never losing faith, we worked to redeem the promise of America, that all men and women are created equal." - Madam Speaker. i like how this happened really normally. like oh, the democrats are in power, and our new speaker is - oh hey, it's a woman. and oh, it's historic. i'd like to be able to tell my granddaughters that this was a historic day and have them be surprised.

6. west wing quote of the week [and you understand i use "week" loosely]:

josh: you know what cj, i really think i'm the best judge of what i mean, you paranoid berkeley shiksa feminista! [pause] whoa, that was way too far.

cj: no, no. well, i've got a staff meeting to go to and so do you, you elitist harvard fascist missed the dean's list two semesters in a row yankee jackass!

josh: feel a little better getting that off your chest there, cj?

cj: i'm a whole new woman.

you know what other word is hard to spell? fascist.

Monday, January 01, 2007

this isn't my regular tuesday suit.

i've decided this will be the west wing quote of the week. (or, apparently, the west wing quote of 2007.) season 1, when joey lucas comes to the white house and there's all the confusion about josh's "regular tuesday suit."

Josh: What are you smiling at?
Charlie: Fine looking woman, Josh.
Josh: Yes.
Charlie: I could help you out.
Josh: Help me out with what?
Charlie: She's a fine looking woman.
Josh: Stop saying that!
Charlie: I owe you a lot, Josh. You got me this job. I'd like to pay you back.
Josh: By helping me out?
Charlie: By helping you out.
Josh: What makes you think I need any help?
Charlie: She's a fine looking woman...
Josh: Get away from me.

alsoooo, i'm sending back season 1 to amazon because the first eight minutes of one episode won't play AND that's when zoey asks charlie out. like what? that's an important eight minutes. i got my shipping charge refunded when one of my christmas packages was really, really late. i think i might become one of those people who makes reasonable demands and gets things. you know? i like those people.

i've been getting unreasonably tired lately. as at every christmas. boo.