Thursday, December 29, 2011
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Book Life 22: Never Drink Your Rich Roommate's Champagne, or Rural Boy Goes Ivy League, A Semi-Tragedy (Plus One Awesome Chunk of News)
As a book geek of massive proportions, I have been suffering a deep blue funk over the closing of Borders. While I try to shop my local used bookstores for the most part, sometimes you gotta hit up the big shiny bookstore, you know? And Borders was the best of the ones I'm familiar with. I found the book I'm blogging on there in the bargain section slashed another 50% because my beloved Borders is going under. I'm glad to be able to afford a few books I've been wanting because they are so cheap, but I hate the reasons for it. But I digress...
Knowledge is a reckoning...a way to assess your location, your true position, not a strategy for improving your position. (p.23)
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Friday, August 19, 2011
I stumbled across this poem while searching something else this morning, and of course, I fell in love with it as I do all of Alexie's work. Right now I'm in the middle of rereading the Vampire Chronicles again, but I think I may be working my way through all of Alexie's books again after this. I swear I could just fall into his books and poetry and live there under his ash-blasted skies and strange sun. I've told Anna before that if he ever showed up at our front door, I would not be held responsible for my actions. Of course, all he would have to do is read me his poetry all night...
Go, Ghost, Go by Sherman Alexie
At this university upon a hill,
I meet a tenured professor
Who's strangely thrilled
To list all of the oppressors --
Past, present, and future -- who have killed.
Are killing, and will kill the indigenous.
O, he names the standard suspects --
Rich, white, and unjust --
And I, a red man, think he's correct,
But why does he have to be so humorless?
And how can he, a white man, fondly speak
Of the Ghost Dance, the strange and cruel
That, if performed well, would have doomed
All white men to hell, destroyed their colonies,
And brought back every dead Indian to life?
The professor says, "Brown people
From all brown tribes
Will burn skyscrapers and steeples.
They'll speak Spanish and carry guns and knives.
Sherman, can't you see that immigration
Is the new and improved Ghost Dance?"
All I can do is laugh and laugh
And say, "Damn, you've got some imagination.
You should write a screenplay about this shit --
About some fictional city,
Grown fat and pale and pretty,
That's destroyed by a Chicano apocalypse."
The professor doesn't speak. He shakes his head
And assaults me with his pity.
I wonder how he can believe
In a ceremony that requires his death.
I think that he thinks he's the new Jesus.
He's eager to get on that cross
And pay the ultimate cost
Because he's addicted to the indigenous.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Quite frequently, I stumble onto a topic that fascinates me, and then I devote inordinate amounts of time and energy pulling it apart. This is how the entire Quiverfull honors thesis occurred. Last night I watched The 19th Wife, a murder mystery about fundamentalist Mormons in polygamist marriages, and it sparked the long ignored desire to learn more about Mormonism in general. I already have the list of books ready. By the same token, a search for a long-forgotten novel about witches in a swamp randomly pulled up a list of books about, of all things, Christian Paganism. After posting a short status on it on Facebook, there ensued a civilized discussion about and wondering over the topic. Of course, someone interjected that they believe that the amalgamation is a natural progression for someone raised in a Christian background, then stated the use of statues of the Virgin Mary in some Pagan ritual. *sigh*
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Some of you are going to laugh at me; I accept this. It has happened before, trust me. My own beautiful, loving wife thinks me utterly mad, as does at least one of my oldest friends, but oh, well...having said that, here we go.
With each portrait he understood the grace and goodness of mankind ever more deeply. He understood the capacity for compassion and wisdom which resides in every soul...At last the faces Rembrandt painted were not flesh-and-blood faces at all. They were spiritual countenances, portraits of what lay within the body of the man or the woman; they were visions of what the person was at his or her finest hour, of what they stood to become...[His many self-portraits] were his personal plea to God to note the progress of this man, who, through his close observation of others like him, had been completely religiously transformed. "This is my vision," said Rembrandt to God. (The Tale of the Body Thief, 36)
What a miracle, I thought. One tiny flame could make so many other flames; one tiny flame could set afire a whole world. Why, I had, with this simple gesture, actually increased the sum total of light in the universe, had I not? (The Tale of the Body Thief, 116)
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Okay, so I've blogged about this before (see "We Was Po', part ii" from August 2010), but another article has popped up on yahoo related to this same topic. If you haven't seen it, it's a list of the worst paying college degrees of 2011. Of course, religious studies is included along with social work and several education degrees. For those of us lost in the throws of passion for the study of religion, this really isn't a surprise. As I've said before, if you come to the study of religion in any form expecting to get rich, you have been lied to, my friend. We do it because it's relevant and interesting and awesome, but this is not my point.
Friday, July 22, 2011
Okay, my friends all know I am in love with coupons. I clip the Sunday paper, troll online sites, email companies, etc. in order to get them. We are broke and both of us have been since we can remember. My mother was a crazy coupon lady. On a trip to Harvey's once, she paid under $10 for over $200 worth of groceries. I'm still impressed. My own shopping trips haven't gotten quite as awesome, but I do all right. I get things for free occasionally, and I get things for damn near free a lot of the time. However, I don't do coupons for the fun of it. Sure, I get a kick out of it, but that isn't the point. The point is to make sure we can afford the groceries and household items we need every week.
All of this is not to say that all extreme couponers are like this. On the contrary, there were a few who simply built up items their families needed without being ridiculous about it. Anything over their own need that they got for free or spent pennies on, they donated or gave to extended family. Those are good deals. What these other people are doing? Well, compare an episode of that show to Hoarders, and the only difference you are likely to see is how neatly the items are contained. They are simply escaping the stigma and label by throwing up a shield of coupons and being on a different show. Just sayin...
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
What a way to start a morning...So, Summer's Eve has a new set of commercials promoting their wash and on-the-go wipes, and oh dear Goddess. What's the big deal?, you ask. Well, go check them out at Huffington Post. I'll wait...
Saturday, July 16, 2011
When I was about 16, I bought a copy of Brett Butler's Knee Deep in Paradise in the Wal-Mart book aisle. This was before my hometown had a Supercenter, and I haunted that aisle to the point that I can still see it in my head. At the time, I was up to my neck in self-loathing Evangelical fervor, convinced of my own damnation and living in a black cloud of suicidal funk because of it. As was my habit prior to and after that time, I buried myself in books that, surprisingly, were more supportive of that little lesbian hiding within than the psycho that was wandering around on the surface. I found E. Lynn Harris' first novel (Invisible Life) at our library (I still marvel at that), and Brett Butler in Wal-Mart. Now, Butler is not gay, but she has had a similarly disjointed and broken life. And she hails from my neck of the woods--proof that you can be as odd as we seem to be there and survive, even thrive.
When writing, I could call myself back from the darkness, rest and reclaim things I'd let go of long ago.--Brett Butler
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Monday, July 11, 2011
70% of the approximately 9 million children under 5 who die everyday die of preventable causes, most of those are caused by malnutrition.
Five children die everyday in the United States from causes directly linked to abuse or neglect.It is absolutely insane to me that so many people have spent so much time talking and thinking about this case. Again, it was bad, but so are the thousands upon thousands of other deaths that happen everyday. Over 1000 children under the age of 5 die every hour, so in the twenty minutes or so I spent writing this almost 350 children under 5 died. If the recent craziness is any indication, my Facebook wall should be packed with links to songs, groups, etc. about those kids. Let's go see....
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
I cannot believe I'm writing this blog. I have ignored the entire Casey Anthony debacle as much as possible, and I wouldn't even have known they reached a verdict had every news source not been blasting it. Of course, as soon as the verdict was read, Facebook blew up. In fact, there are already two of those re-postables in honor of the little girl going around, after only about 45 minutes. By the way, this post is probably going to piss some people off, just to warn you.
Sunday, July 3, 2011
This afternoon Anna had a sudden urge to see what the living room would look like rearranged. So she found a program online, and I spent the better part of an hour or so calling out the measurements of everything. Basically, it all came to nothing because the stuff we have simply doesn't seem to work in any other configuration, but I do have a point to this...Afterwards, Anna was saying that we have too much stuff--primarily books. It isn't that she doesn't like books. Quite the contrary. She loves to read as much as I do, but she simply doesn't have the need to keep them once they're read for the most part. I like to keep a great deal of mine, mainly because I'm always certain that, at some point in the future, I will want to reread it or will need it for something, and therefore in order to save the trouble of finding and buying it again, I should keep it. In the past, I have been proven quite right in many cases. Some of my books show the wear of many, many readings. Some I may have only reread once or twice, but they are either difficult to find or simply things that I love and want around. Some are, well...
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
"To the moon, Alice!"
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
A friend of ours recently had an ultrasound done and found out she has a cyst. She shuffled off to the gynecologist to follow up and the following ensued--reconstructed from what I was told. (It is salient to note that she is African-American and of a lower socio-economic status.)
Dr: Where do you work?
Tuesday, June 21, 2011