Monthly Archives: May 2008

Cinema therapy


My two carpool buddies and I went to watch Iron Man after class. My two cronies, both unmarried and in their early- to mid-twenties, had seen the movie one or two times before. I won’t give too much of the plot — plot? Ha! Good one. — away, but I will say this: we were more than an hour into the move and the military still hadn’t detected Iron Man on their satellite systems. I’m writing my congressman. Our nation is asleep at the wheel while Iron Man and heaven knows who else is gallavantin’ in the no-fly zone.

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Filed under Seminary

And yet again…

I went out for coffee after morning worship with three classmates and it was said that I normally don’t go out to lunch with the group. Another classmate defended me — although the observation wasn’t antagonistic in the least — and said that I have had lunch with the group before. What impressed me was the perception by at least one person in our group that I tend to isolate myself. I think there’s a lot of truth to that. It’s how I’ve lived my life for so long, it’s my default setting.

No one except my immediate family believes me when I say that for most of my life, I have been painfully shy; it has taken me years of work to get to the point where I share things openly. For some odd reason, I still feel inadequate in academic circles. I never have enough time to put into the reading and writing, like an outclassed boxer whose only hope at victor is to engage his opponent in a series of jabs, return to his corner and hope he is still standing by the end of 10 rounds.

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And yet…

I still have doubt about whether I belong in Seminary. I wonder if my time, talents and money would be better suited at a graduate level creative writing program somewhere — not that I could find that around here.

Because I work full time, have an active life at church and enjoy sunlight, I have elected to attend school part time. But at my current pace, it will take a L-O-N-G time to complete my degree: five years on the low end, 7.5 years on the high end. This is after I’ve invested 1.5 years into the program. Even if I were a full-time student, it would take me about four years to complete the Master of Divinity program from start to finish.

I realize it’s about the journey, but when the journey is in a ’73 Ford Galaxie with vinyl seats, no air conditioning and a motor that tops out at 50 miles per hour, the quality of the journey is severely compromised.

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Filed under doubt, Seminary, Uncategorized

God works, God is working

There are a number of things happening in my life, and the lives of those close to me, that I have to keep under wraps. That’s the rub about blogging: some of the (potentially) best material comes from some of my readers, whose lives I do not exploit — at least not yet.

In seriousness, I will lift the embargo on some of these items as they become available. For the moment, trust me on this: God works.

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The Man is at it again

So, I roll up to get gas for our weekend of camping and I see this:

ripping me off since 1970

Yes, America, it’s time for the annual gas price hike. On Monday, I went to a gas station in my town and bought gas for $3.91 per gallon. I returned to the same brand of gas station this morning and purchased gas for $4.03 per gallon. Nothing drastic happened in the world in four days. The Man has done this every Memorial Day weekend, as it has done for years, because they can.

I know I sound like a cantankerous old goat, the kind that regularly show up at city council meetings and gripe about potholes and shopping carts left in the neighborhood, but this is ridiculous! That I should live to see the day when I cruise around town in search of cheap gas and think $3.91 per gallon is a good deal.

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Filed under Economy

OK, this theme isn’t working

I’ll have to toy around with this during the summer when I have more time.

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The new look PLUS baby strollers

I’m toying around with the blog again. I want a simple look and I really like this theme. The problem(s): it only allows for one photo per page with now links/blogroll/widget column. The WP folks say that the idea, but still it would be nice to at least get additional page links at the top. I sent an e-mail to the creators of the new theme and asked them for an additional page display workaround. We’ll see.

In other news, a dear childhood friend of mine is expecting her third child and sent the missus and I links to the latest in Stroller Technology. It would appear that the strollers of tomorrowday come equipped with online training videos (not to be missed) that showcase their maneuverability and versatility while keeping their cost hidden to the casual web user.

These aren’t merely strollers — no!, thou Philistine! These are baby systems! In today global market economy, our babies must be prepared for full mobility, from crib to playdate to shopping with mother while looking fabulous. These glamorous systems allow baby to be prepared for all life demands. Please, give your child a supreme act of sacrifice and get them the accessories they need. Don’t delay. Your child is counting on you.

OK, in all seriousness, I want one. A cup holder, an interlocking travel system, I’m all over it. Now if I can only get the book deal to accompany this lavish must-have item.

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The wife: Adventures in Ethnoculinary delights

One of my great joys in life is mocking my wife’s primitive ways in the kitchen. We live minutes away from several cooking stores that sell the latest in kitchen gadgetry, but no!, my wife is content, even joyful at the prospect of grinding pepper in late grandmother’s molcajete when she needs it.

I don’t have the patience for this anthropological field work. When I’m hungry, I grab and go. If there’s no pepper, I do without. Who am I kidding? I go to Noah’s on most mornings.

My wife’s a fabulous cook but I can’t help but mock her ethnic ways. We listen to too much NPR and drink too much coffee in our house, so in the morning, I walk around the kitchen and pretend I’m a field reporter in some remote Mexican village.

High in the mountains of central Mexico, Xochitl rises early in the morning to grind the fiery pepper that will season her family’s food, as her ancestors have done for centuries.

I never realized how Americanized my upbringing was until I married my wife. She cringes when I tell her I never knew tacos were actually made with finely chopped, seasoned meet cooked on a grill, not ground beef. Which goes to show you how sheltered my upbringing was in Salinas, or how underground authentic Mexican cuisine was in those days. These days, you can’t walk 100 feet, it would seem, without running into a neighborhood taqueria.

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Filed under home life, humor, Latinos

An act of aggression


As most of you know, I’ve been trying to grow a garden from seed since January. All seemed to be going well until the bug community decided my plants made an excellent snack.

Members of the slug and worm community, the coleus is for decoration only. Go eat a weed already!

If the coleus wasn’t bad enough, they chewed a few of my heirloom tomato plants down to sticks. My babies! I’ve been growing these since January. The gauntlet has been thrown down. As Bugs Bunny used to say, “Of course you know, this means war.”

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I wasn’t planning on writing about this

I can think of more honorable ways of staging my triumphal return to bloggerdom. But I’ve had enough.

Every day for the past several weeks, the men’s bathroom in our office complex is festooned with a sizable wad of toilet paper. Every day it’s in the same place.

You would think I work in a slum but it’s a respectable place, with landscapers, painters and a small cadre of handymen who tend to the handful of one- and two-story buildings. We have a janitorial staff who vacuum and empty the trash as well as tend to our community bathroom. So what’s with the TP on the floor?

Please, in the name of all that is sacred and sanitary, pick that stuff up!

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Filed under humor