Friday, September 29, 2006

Eavesdropping With Matt (Episode Twelve)

Dedicated to the wiry man behind us, waiting for the airport restaurant to open, at 11:01 a.m., and thus one minute late (unlike our plane, which is one hour late).

Man: C'mon, let's get that bar open.

EAVESDROPPING SIDENOTE: There are some old women sitting near us at the boarding area who curse like sailors. I would replicate some of the conversation, as it is funny, but I don't think you would appreciate it.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Idaho: Where I Will Build A Great Monument In My Honor When I Become the Rightful Ruler of The Americas

K and I leave for Boise in the morning, where we will get to spend a whole weekend hanging out with the Boise State crew.

FIESTA!

See you all next week.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

BRITISH INVASION!

This story comes from our monkey-reporter-on-the-street, the incomparable Ken!

It's well worth your time to click on the link. Especially if you like:

1) Apes
2) Marathons
3) Apes in Marathons
4) Great Britain

99% ignorant

I got my first quiz back in Hebrew this week: 1% correct!

I was, honestly, somewhat pleased to see that I knew something about Hebrew, since I didn't have the notes or anything from the week before when I took the quiz.

Things are improving, though, and I will update you when I get the scores for this week's quiz.

Why School Is More Important Than Cartoons

Z: Daddy! I don't want to miss "Dragon Tales" to take A to school tomorrow!

Me: We don't plan our school schedule around when cartoons are on.

Z: Why not?

Me: Because school is more important than cartoons.

Z: Why?

Me: What did you learn in school today?

Z: I learned that when we have a shortened day, we don't get to play on the playground.

Me: Okay, good, anything else?

Z: The letter K says k k like a kid in a kayak! K! K!

Me: And what did you learn on cartoons this morning?

Z: If you find a two-headed magic statue then you might get flip-flopped!

Me: And that's why school is more important than cartoons.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Helper Monkeys!

In the BHR tradition of "all monkey news all the time" we bring you the following story:

Debbie Rose says that her monkey is a "service animal" that helps her overcome an anxiety disorder and therefore should be allowed to eat at the buffet with her.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Father Knows Best

A: Daddy, did God use glue sticks and then stick it on our arms and our heads and legs and put us all together?

Me: No, he didn't use a glue stick for that.

A: Did he use it to stick other things together?

Me: No.

A: How did he stick things together?

Me: He, uh, used different things to stick different things together.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

At the Protest



After watching the entire military of Mexico roll by, we decided to go down to the Zocalo and see the protest. There were a lot of people there chanting "OBRADOR!" I will say this... the people of Mexico are very skilled at drawing characatures of George Bush.

There was a creepy person blowing smoke on people. This seemed evil to us.

Now I must treat you to another picture of me with "the bird."

Things the people of Mexico could learn about protests from the U.S.:

1) It's not really a protest unless you break a window.

2) And don't forget to steal something!

3) Don't let Americans with Communist t-shirts mill around with you. Those stupid foreigners clearly know nothing about history. Kick 'em out!

The Mexican style of protest seemed very gentle and understanding.

More from Mexico


I tried to get us a hotel in Mexico City that would be far away from the protests and demonstrations. But somehow I picked one across the street from "the angel of independence." As we drove up our taxi driver said, "This street has been closed all week. So nice that they opened it today.

The next morning President Fox came and gave a big speech, so there were people all over the place.

A lady was cooking something green nearby, we couldn't figure out what it was. Someone finally explained that they were gorditas, but with green dye in them because the flag of Mexico has green in it. We also bought a red tamale. the gordita was excelente.

A little while later there was a "parade" in which every soldier, horse and tank in all of Mexico marched, pranced and rumbled past out hotel room to show the superior
strength of the amazing country of Mexico. This took a long, long time. Then the garbage trucks came out to clean up after all the festivities.

HOLY MARGARITA, BATMAN!


This margarita we saw in Mexico City was so huge that I had to get my picture with it.

Thoughts I Think During Hebrew Class

It's a good thing I am such a genius, or I would be even more confused than I am.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

At the Zocalo


I need to go to bed, but I think it's important that you see this picture. It was taken in the heart of the protests taking place at the Zocalo. More information on all that later. In the meanwhile, just sit back and enjoy this awesome picture.

In Which I Meet Trotsky (well, almost)

Now that we're home, I'll try to catch you up with some of the amazing events of our time in Mexico.

On Friday we tried to go to the Museum of Modern Art, which it turns out is being remodeled. At least, that's what we assumed when we saw the enormous metal gates with the spikes on it barring our entrance. So we made our way across town to see the Frida Kahlo museum. Which was also closed. The lady in the picture knocked on the door for about ten minutes until they let her in. I think they were having a staff party.

So we walked to the Leon Trotsky museum (just a few blocks away), which is really just the house that Trotsky lived in until he was murdered (with an ice axe). Here you can see a picture of an enormous stone slab with his name on it and the hammer and sickle. I'll be getting one of these for my back yard (but with my name and a giant burning heart).

The slightly strange and creepy part was the guy who was wandering the property dressed like Trostsky. Sometimes it seemed he was following us, and other times we walked into a room to find him waiting for us. Krista took this picture of me and Trotsky together... because how often do you get a chance like that? Anyway, we debated for a while whether Trotsky-Clone is 1) a re-enactor, 2) a creepy tourist who likes to dress up like Trotsky or 3) a ghost.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Our team


Here's a picture of the team that K and I work with. I can't tell you too many details about our meetings, as I am sworn to silence (we don't share with just anyone about the traditional bequeathing of the WSN smoking jacket to our new members). We really, really enjoy these people.

Please be sure to notice the strange variations in head sizes. For instance, my head looks freakishly large. And people say that the camera never lies. Ha ha ha! Jokers!

xochimilco


Here's a picture of K and I in Xochimilco earlier this week. You can see some boats off on the right there. More pictures later. In the meanwhile... I have a lovely wife, don't I?

Happy Independence Day

So, today we went out into the wide world of Mexico to see the sights.

Except that they were mostly closed in honor of Mexican Indepence Day! We went to the Museum of Modern Art (closed). The Frida Kahlo Museum (closed). The Leon Trotsky museum (inexplicably open).

We took the Metro all over the place, which was cool. Then we decided to go out to dinner but, um, the restaurants are all closed. Because everyone is gathered outside our hotel to celebrate! K and I just watched the president shout VIVA MEXICO and ring the bell of freedom on t.v. and then the fireworks out our window.

Rumor is that everything will be closed down tomorrow, too.

But we are having fun, enjoying each other and Mexico. We're debating going down into the center of it all in the Zocolo tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Mexico

Okay, I have a couple of quick moments here before I have to scoot off to a meeting. Yes, a meeting. That's right, I have a job, people.

Anyway...

Mexico is great. More expensive than I expected, but still great. I've eaten Mexican breakfast every morning, which is great (enchildas for breakfast? You BETCHA!).

We've been meeting a lot, but it's great to work with people I consider good friends. Yesterday we wandered out to some of the over 300 campuses in Mexico and tried to start spiritual movements of revolutionary-minded college students. More on that when I get more time. But I will say that it was great, we saw God do some amazing things and I got to eat some huarrachas at the UNAM cafeteria.

Today we moved our meeting to Xochimilco for a few hours, which was fun.

Tonight (in about ten minutes) the meetings start up again and then dinner and then, who knows? (Krista might go shopping... maybe I'll study Hebrew or blog or write or answer e-mail or collapse onto my bed. We shall see.)

NOTE: Beds here are just as hard as in East Asia. I realized that I didn't expect this because every other time I've been in Mexico I've slept either in a tent (Mexicali) or, the noteable exception, in a trailer with my buddy Chris. So, good to know. Hard beds in Mexico.

NOTE (2): We saw a demonstration today. Viva la mexico!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

At least they liked the cover letter

Hi, friends.

I was poking around over at Relief Journal this morning and found this post about getting cover letters they like. They quote at length from a cover letter that is, well, my cover letter. They rejected the story, but they really liked that cover letter!

So I sent them another story, which is being looked at now. I have to admit that the cover letter to my second story was not as good. But I think the story is significantly better than the first one I sent them.

Fashion terminology

Here's something you should know if you are going to write about fashion (like moi).

A T-shirt is a shirt that is shaped like a "T." It has short sleeves and no collar.

A t-shirt is a shirt shaped like a "t." It has short sleeves and a turtle neck.

A tee-shirt can also be referred to as a golf shirt.

A tea-shirt is a brown, green, black or red shirt, depending on the variety.

Airport Fashion Tips

A few fashion tips for all of you who fly.

1) No short-shorts. Especially if they are so short that you can't walk correctly. I don't care if you're traveling with your boyfriend or a boy you wish was your friend. No one is happy to see a girl wearing short-shorts at the airport. What we are all thinking: that girl is going to be cold.

2) No "Hustler" t-shirts. I saw a young man with his fiance today, and he was wearing a "Hustler" t-shirt. Please don't wear clothing that advertizes pornography at the airport. What we are thinking: that your fiance should ditch you as soon as possible, before your porn-infused brain destroys your relationship. It just makes us sad.

3) Remember, people are crankier in the morning and more likely to think mean thoughts about you. So dress carefully if you are on an early flight.

What I am wearing today: a vintage 1970's pilot's uniform (TWA).

A conversation with you (in my head)

I know what you are asking yourself right now:

You: Matt, why aren't you in bed?

Me: Because I am slowly photocopying an old Hebrew textbook so that I can learn the Hebrew alphabet this week. I am missing my first class of Hebrew, and the day after I get back from Mexico I have a quiz.

You: Matt, I think you might be insane.

Me: Stop saying that! It makes me paranoid. No, really, stop it!

You: I only said it once.

Me: Ha ha ha! That's what you think.

You: You're nuts.

Me: That's because you are what you eat and I eat a lot of cashews and macadamia nuts. So at least I'm high quality nuts.

You: Go to bed.

Me: Okay, okay, I'm off to bed.

You: And sleep on the plane tomorrow, too!

Me: I will obey!

Enfoque mexico

Today (in a few hours), K and I will be on our way to Mexico City to meet with other people from around the US who do our job, and also with international leaders within our organization and the local leaders of the mexico CityFocus.

Mexico City has 301 college campuses, totalling right around a million students. CityFocus is designed to try to take the good news of Jesus to every single one of those students within the next three years. It's an awesome experiment, which is one of the reasons we're spending a week down there.

K and I are pretty excited because at least one day of the week will involve us going out on campus and talking to people about Jesus (in Espanol? Mmmmm. Not if they want to actually understand anything we are saying). ALSO, our buddy Carlos, the national director of Costa Rica, will be hanging out there, too. So, we'll get to talk some more about the possibilities of our region sending students to Costa Rica.

Anyway, if you want to hear more about Enfoque Mexico, I will try to find some blogs that are from the team there. I've seen that this one is updated pretty often (with pictures). I'll ask around while I'm down there.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Eavesdropping with Matt: Special Mikalatos Edition

Dedicated to... ME!

Krista: There's not enough leftover pizza in the fridge for both of us to have it for lunch.

Me: That's okay.

Krista: I'm sorry we don't have much food in the house.

Me: No problem, I'll just run down to Muchas Gracias and pick up a taco.

Krista: But we're leaving for Mexico tomorrow.

Me: Heh, heh, heh.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Ethereal Library


My friend Candice (the anti-blogger who included BLOGGING among her list of time-wasters to beware of on stint) had a link to this site on a website she's been helping put together.

It's the Christian Classics Ethereal Library (I feel certain Borges would have approved of that name), a site which attempts to bring you free, accessible Christian classics. It's searchable, downloadable and printable. Pretty convenient, especially if you don't mind a sheaf of papers or a computer screen instead of the well-worn and loved covers of a book.

I prefer books, but still, this is a cool site.

Matt VS. Machine

There's an artificial intelligence program over at cooldictionary.com that you can chat with... essentially you can IM the computer and it talks to you. Its name is Splotchy.

Anyway, here's the conversation Splotchy and I had (slightly edited for those not used to having conversations with foul-mouthed computer intelligences):

Me: What is your name?

Splotchy: I am Splotchy, what's your name?

Me: My name is Matt.

Splotchy: Hi matt, nice to talk to you you

Me: Are you really a robot?

Splotchy: I know you are, but what am I?

Me: I'm rubber and you're glue.

Splotchy: does anyone know you are rubber and youre glue?

Me: No.

Splotchy: no?

Me: No. does anyone know that you are a ping-pong ball?

Splotchy: No I'm not...

Me: You fight like a girl

Splotchy: did you get your @$$ kicked in a fight?

Me: Never

Splotchy: not even once?

Me: Well, there was this one time when a really mean group of girl scouts cornered me and beat me up.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Monday, September 04, 2006

Where are the little girls I carried?

Tomorrow is Z's first day of kindergarten.

Tomorrow is A's first day of preschool.

If I can still type after all the emotional trauma of having practically adult children I will give you all an update soon.

Google Me

Last night I googled myself (yes, I'm vain, bet I think this post is about me, don't I?) and I found a couple of interesting things:

1) A mini-review of my short story, Chariots. Favorite sentence from the review: "If you like to think big thoughts without wading through all the words usually associated with them, 'Chariots' is for you."

2) Someone in Canada went to the trouble to type out (is this legal?) the entirety of my article "Estrogen Dampens Holy Spirit!" from the Wittenburg Door. So if you would like to see the (admittedly inferior) typed up version, you can see it here. And then you should march right out and buy issue 206 of the Wittenburg Door.

3) The Burning Hearts Revolution.