Sunday, June 22, 2008

Cow Tipping and the Theology of Glory

well its been another year, another Calvary Chapel Youth Retreat. this time bigger and more mindless than ever. this time there were four or five other churches besides the one here that hosts it, so there were more people, out of which a grand total of one was any fun at all.
i arrived in the evening, having been graciously spared the first "teaching" and set up in a tent on the huge hill above the barn that served as a church. soon i had Mah Posse around and was up to no good. it began with a bonfire, then lighter tricks, finally some romping and then we were exiled to bed.
or so they thought.
'round about 1 am the four guys in my tent got together with three other girls from the other side of the field and went to the graveyard and a hay field a ways away. we sat and talked for a couple minutes then went around what there was of town. we considered cow tipping but thought better of it for that night, instead deciding on the next night for that particular endeavor. for a couple hours we built and maintained a fire and just messed around, and after that is kind of a haze, but i think it had something to do with chickens.
the next day was interesting. it started off with breakfast which was great, some one's mother cooked 200 breakfast burritos and we ate them happily. then there was a worship session in which we basically declared that Jesus was really pretty and shiny. then there was an entirely unremarkable sermon. we all slept so i can't really rant about that one.
at some point i got wet, but i don't exactly remember when. then there was THE sermon. a pastor got up and took the mic, and after telling us how he was once addicted to cocaine and meth and beer and had five kids out of wedlock before his tenth birthday he went on a very interesting rant. i do not quote him exactly, but here's something of the idea:
"...and now i see all you pure and innocent youth and it reminds me that we must be more judgemental. i know SOME" (enter menacing glare around the room) "people who claim to be Christians who SMOKE THE POT! i know some people who say they are Christians but they DRINK! or have SEX!" at this point the whole room covered their ears before they heard anymore no-no words "and all of you who don't have a quiet time, SHAME ON YOU!"
i turn to my friends on both sides and audibly say "I don't have a quiet time every day, in fact i hardly ever have a 'quiet time' so am i not a Christian?"
the pastor ignores me. "so if you see anyone who isn't being a saint, even though there is no such thing as a saint, judge him and question his faith until he does better. thank you."
having come with a copy of Bondage of the Will in hand (because i knew from past experience that i WOULD need some good theology to read) i walked up to the guy afterward and began talking.
"what did you mean by that? you just shamed me and most of my friends. I don't take well to being shamed and i really don't take kindly to people shaming my friends. so i'll give you a chance to explain yourself."
the guy was baffled. what? someone questioning his pontifications? how could this be?
"well, I, uh, you see in life..." *fog, fog, haze, haze*
"and how about all that about people who drink and smoke pot? i meet with a book club of Christians who drink and i know some very strong Christians who smoke pot. are you saying they're going to Hell?"
"...well no..."
"that's what you said, isn't it?"
there followed a short discussing that i will not relay, but i slipped in justification (oh, no, a big word!)and a few other fun phrases, including salvation by grace through faith, a little bit about baptism, and many other verbal whoppings of his butt. think of two boxers in a ring. one is me. the other is him. i was throwing punches, he had no arms. that's a suitable metaphor for that discussion. soon he woosied out and ran away, assuredly to cry in the senior pastor's skirts.
that night there was another bonfire, and we all went to sleep, as we were all far too tired to cow-tip. the next morning was cold, and mid-morning my friends' headbangin' Christian band played and i moshed and screamed, which was all very fun. I went back home about one, after which i went to the very first Madison Celt Fest (some of the three of you who read this know about that) which was all very nice.
the end.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

some call it an overactive imagination

the other day i was listening to the BBC (if only to mock their accents because they all end their sentences like questions) and a very useless report came up. ADHD helps Kenyan nomads survive. why? no apparent reason that i could decipher. i find this exceedingly funny. then some guy mentioned "evolution" and my mind went to "natural selection" (the unconfirmed hypothesis that nature will eventually weed out the bad in a species and leave the good, eventually forming a SUPER RACE!!!). now according to orthodox scientists the ADHD Kenyan nomads should be naturally selected and therefore eventually all Kenyan nomads will have ADHD. consider that for a moment.
now, can you not see it? hundreds of wandering, hyperactive tribes, running into towns yelling "hey! hey! wanna trade!? huh? huh? wanna trade now? I'll give you my camel for some Mt. Dew!"
i just thought i'd share that with y'all.

oh, another thing on the subject of Kenyans. in case you have never seen:

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

noble and manly music inspires the spirit, strengthens the wavering man and incites him to great and worthy deeds.--Homer

Both Robin and Maria gave me this one. here's the rules:

1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that's playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button
6. Don't lie and try to pretend you're cool...
7. Include commentary

Opening Credits:
Worst Day Since Yesterday--Flogging Molly
(i can see this happening. perhaps the Main Character is a loser lying on his car hood. something like that.)

Waking Up:
Good Morning Spider--Sparklehorse
(again, only if the character is a manic depressive with an "i hate having to wake up" attitude. or if he wakes up on pot.)

First Day Of School:
Slaying the Dreamer--Nightwish
(only good if the people at school took Main Character's tool. that line always cracks me up...)

Falling In Love:
Ever Dream--Nightwish
(OK, though its got an unrequited feel, so maybe.)

Fight Song:
LCM--Children 18:3
(perfect. especially the "They're coming!" part and the solo after it. if only it'd landed on "Headstong")

Breaking Up:
(again, perfect. even though i don't like the song.)

(if the prom had bagpipes, sure.)

Life's OK:
Ditches--Children 18:3
(only if he gets over his greif by getting in fistfights. im starting to like my MC)

Mental Breakdown:
Phenomenon--Thousand Foot Crutch
(not to be confused with the Manamanah song. perhaps if he gets into shootouts with shuffle seems to be stuck on metal.)

Artist in the Ambulance
(PERFECT! a song about a car crash!)

Leahy--Call to Dance
(It just won't work. unless he actually has a guy in the back seat playing fiddle.)

Getting Back Together:
Even Sleeping--Children 18:3
(another song about a car crash. nope. unless they yell at each other before getting back together. amazing song btw.)

Braeds of Sutherland--Wolfstone
(this works. especially the ending pipe solo which is absolutely amazing.)

Birth of Child:
Between a man and a Woman--Flogging Molly
(um, there are some really tasteless jokes i could make here, but won't.)

Final Battle:
Move--Thousand Foot Crutch
(yes. especially if it was filmed in a really trippy Ridley Scott stop action kind of way)

Death Scene:
You Know We're All so Fond of Dying--Children 18:3
(hehehehe. delicious irony of the shuffle button.)

Funeral Song:
Grace of God go I--Flogging Molly
(this would work perfectly. but only if the action was muted, otherwise it would be pointless.)

End Credits:
Opus One--Madison Park.
(good. the only better one i could think of is This is My Father by Ashlee McIsaac. i've always thought it would be a good end credits song...)