Monday, December 29, 2008
We didn't have any travel issues and arrived only about twenty minutes late. We got to the hotel and were hungry for lunch, so we cruised the streets looking for somewhere to eat. Unlike the Northwest, people apparently take the Sabbath seriously and all the restaurants were closed. With one exception. And that is how we ended up eating in Hell's Kitchen. Of course Hell's Kitchen is open on the sabbath. I had a ridiculously good Bison burger.
About 1,800 people showed up for the conference, which is amazing. I gave my first talk last night and couldn't really see those back rows far off in the distance. I spoke about following Jesus and living a life where you are becoming like him.
We're having a good time. Krista and I had lunch today with four college guys and we talked about life, how to hear from God, and what it looks like to be transformed to be like Jesus... a really excellent conversation. Now we're gearing up to run to dinner with an old friend of Krista's. They were on summer project together years ago.
That's the little update for today. I speak again tomorrow night and then on the 31st.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Krista and I eavesdropped on a group of people from the twentieth century complain about the brave new world of the 21st century at the Portland airport this morning.
“The security took away my water,” said a woman on her way to Cancun. “It was a brand new bottle that wasn’t even open and now I have to pay three times as much for a bottle half the size.” Several people commiserated.
“I used to take the corporate jet," said a nearby man, somehow connecting this to the inconvenience of being deprived of bottled water. "And now they’re making all of us fly commercial. I had to go buy an iPod and an iPhone because I used to be able to watch movies on the jet and now I can’t.” He also liked to show off by making pronouncements like, “We’re going to be boarding any minute now.” He can tell this because his phone is also a clock!
Another excellent moment was when The Lady From The Past talked about her son’s health care. She has to have his permission to look at his medical forms, even though he’s only fifteen. She’s livid. She pays the bills. He’s a minor. She wants everyone on the plane to know about the insanity of our privacy laws. Her lawyer told her, “Just get him to write you a permission slip.”
Welcome to the 21st century fellow travelers from the far flung past, and we hope you enjoy your stay here with us here in the future.
* We had a "Bunny/Kitty party"... A invited over some friends from school and they all crawled around mewing and barking (?).
* Decorations had to rival the "unicorn" from Z's party this year, so I stayed up late with Krista's dad drawing, coloring and cutting out cartoon bunnies and pasting them up all over the house.
* We started with a family breakfast out with us and all the grandparents, followed by feverish house cleaning, followed by two hours of sugar-induced birthday mayhem.
* Once everything had settled down our neighbor Derek called... A had been telling him for days that her birthday was coming. He called and asked what one buys for a six-year-old girl. I suggested a candy bar or a stuffed animal. He showed up with a candy bar... and a drum set. The next hour or so was spent banging the drums as they were being set up. A told Krista last night, "I'm a rock star!"
A, Happy Birthday! We're so thankful for you, for your sweet, friendly way of interacting with the family. We're thankful for all the music you bring into the house with your constant singing, piano and I'm sure in the future drums. We're so proud that you've learned to read and that you are doing so well in Kindergarten and Awanas. Happy Birthday! I'm looking forward to seeing what you do as a six-year-old!
Saturday, December 27, 2008
My first feature article in Discipleship Journal is now available in the January/February 2009 issue. The name of the article is "Disarming Questions" and it's about ways to continue a positive conversation about God with people who are hostile to Christianity.
The editors at DJ are great and really excellent people to work with. If you get a chance to pick up the magazine I think you would enjoy it.
Friday, December 26, 2008
A: When all our friends and family came over to our house. WAIT! No, it was when Jesus came and died on the cross for our sins.
Me: That's very sweet, A. I meant your favorite Christmas moment from the last day or two.
A: Oh. Then it's when all our friends and family came over.
Me: Z, how about you? Favorite Christmas moment?
Z: When Mom said I could have two of her Breyer horses! And also when I got Dreamer (another Breyer horse).
Thursday, December 25, 2008
2007: What Christmas Means to Me
2006: The Christmas Hierarchy
2005: The Key to Christmas
BONUS: The Christmas-inspired moment that brought the Very First episode of Eavesdropping with Matt to the faithful minions here at BHR.
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;
On those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.
You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy;
They rejoice before you as people rejoice in the harvest,
As men rejoice when dividing the plunder.
For as in the day of Midian’s defeat, you have shattered
The yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor.
Every warrior’s boot used in battle, and every garment rolled in blood
Will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be upon his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom,
Establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.
Here's an interesting article that asks the question, "Would Christmas have still come even if we had not sinned?"
It's worth a read.
And there were in the same country, shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them and they were sore afraid. And the angel said to them, Fear not! For behold I bring you glad tidings of great joy which shall be for all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you" ye shall find the child wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. And suddenly with the angel appeared a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace and good will toward humanity.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
"I think so," I said. I was buying a forty pound bag of water softening salt, because they had run out of regular rock salt. No one around here was ready for so much snow.
"When you're a kid," she said, "Snow is all about magic. You grow up and it's all about work."
Trying to get home was work. The cars spinning on the ice, the semis breaking every traffic rule to try to get onto the right street. Pileups and accidents slowed everything down. After five cycles at a light waiting for a left hand turn, but receiving nothing, I decided to head North and then double back on another road farther from the crowds of incompetent ice drivers.
As I moved up the street, I saw a left hand turn that looked familiar. The snow made it hard to tell if it was the street I thought it was... everything was uniform white, smooth and stretched out to more white smoothness. I took the turn.
A few minutes later everything looked familiar, but not quite right. The snow-covered houses could be any snow-covered houses. A field of sheep was on the right side, and I thought they should be on the left. I picked up a compass between the seats and held it up. I should be going West. But the compass didn't turn.
A dark wood crept up on the road, the snow like the caps of waves. As I went around a curve I heard a muffled thunder from the wood. The car slid on the ice, and I wrangled the car back on track. I stopped, the adrenalin and blood pounding through me, and turned off the car for a minute. I looked up, and emerging from the wood was a centaur, his hooves flinging up the snow. He stopped in front of the car, his chest heaving, his breath rising like clouds, his hair encased in ice and sweat. He looked at me with wide, golden eyes, then back to the woods. He motioned with his hand for me to follow, and trotted across the road and into the dark woods.
I had read enough as a child to know that this was the moment in which I could enter into some great adventure. A howling from the distance told me that something--or someone--was on his trail. I sat for a long time until the air in the car started to cool. Then I reached down and turned the key in the ignition. I had a driveway to shovel, and ice to melt on the walkway.
Around the curve, the street came out into a familiar road, and I made it home without any excitement.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Master Bargainer. The neighbor across the street paid twenty bucks to the same kids. Yup. Which brings us to the following rules: 1) Don't underestimate how little money it takes to motivate a teenager. 2) Being cheap is easier when you don't keep cash on hand.
The Fleet. Several of our neighbors own snowmobiles and four wheelers. This means that when they get home from work there is a great deal of snow-spurting four wheelers sliding through the neighborhood.
On a related note. I saw some idiot kid trying to ride his motorcycle on the ten inches of snow on the main road.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
"No," I said, "But you can put your hand on my shoulder."
"So if I fall you'll know I'm falling?"
"And then you'll catch me?"
"No, then I'll know to look around for you on the ground."
Yes, I know. I'm a great Dad. You don't even have to tell me, I know already.
Please note that the tiny pink poodle was not in the movie. That is my children's addition.
If the storm continues I should be able to clear out all those pictures I've been meaning to blog about over the last several months.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
While I was at the post office/gas station (yes, it's both) today, a woman came in asking if anyone had a jack so she could get the chains off her car. I told her that I didn't have a jack, but that I couldn't imagine that she needed one and I would come out and take a look.
It turned out that some guy had tried to help her when one of her chains broke by telling her to drive back and forth. This had actually succeeded in causing her to drive on the wrong parts of the chains and had smashed one of the catches so it couldn't be opened correctly.
It was something I managed to fix after laying in the slush, pushing my head under the car, and working at it for a while. Then I worked on the other side, which eventually required that I borrow some pliers so I could break a clasp on the chain. When I was done the woman and her kids happily drove away.
One of the gas station workers looked at me in surprise when I brought the pliers back in and the woman drove away. "Weren't you with that lady?" she asked.
"No," I said. "I was just here and she needed some help."
Suddenly I was a hero. The gas station lady offered me free food or coffee or something to warm me up. But I told her that wasn't necessary, of course. I was just a little ways from home.
I thought about this as I drove home. If that had been my family with the broken chains I would have just been doing my duty. It's expected that you take care of your family. But if you treat some other member of the human race like family, suddenly you're a hero. That's a sad commentary on us as a people, I guess.
I started thinking about rewards... being thought of as a hero, free coffee, et cetera, and I realized I don't really need those, either. I have my own house, where I can warm up and take a hot shower after submerging myself in icy slush. I had a loving wife waiting for me, and kids on a special outing with their heavily involved and generous grandparents. I have a good relationship with the creator of the universe, too, let's not forget that. I have all the rewards I need right here in my little corner of the world. I think I can treat others with respect just so their world can be a little better, too.
Plus, it's snowing. It's beautiful outside. It's a beautiful, wonderful night. Merry Christmas, everybody.
This is a great book... an amazing example of how to explore serious issues (Do the ends justify the means? Do we become what we pretend to be? Can we commit unforgivable crimes against ourselves?) in an entertaining, often hilarious way. Let's be honest, it's hard to write a comedic novel about the Nazis. But here it is. It's a great read and worth your time if you've never read it.
Friday, December 19, 2008
We woke this morning to the excited scampering of children, who flew to the windows, looked outside and shouted, "OH NO! I HOPE SCHOOL ISN'T CANCELED!"
I woke this morning and trudged down the stairs to discover that yes, school had been canceled.
I walked back up and told the kids, "No school today."
"NO SCHOOL TODAY?"
"No school today."
"NO SCHOOL TODAY?"
"No... school... today."
Cue the incessant crying. No school means no end-of-the-year Christmas party.
Now Z is in the back yard playing in the snow and A is inside looking at the Christmas ads from the newspaper. And we're hoping that our friends' wedding tonight doesn't get canceled!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Here it is:
I am Mr. Paul Wolfenden, Manager of ABN AMRO BANK 250 Bishopsgate, London
EC2M 4AA . I have a business proposal valued at GBP£21,000,000.00 (Twenty-One
Million Pounds) from my Branch.
Please, get back to me to enable me furnish you with full information
concerning this letter by email.
I was curious. So I did a little checking and here is what I found:
1) Paul Wolfenden is real.
2) Despite the lack of vowels, ABN AMRO is real. Although it appears that Mr. Paul Wolfenden does not work for them.
3) I like how the author of this email puts the number of pounds in numerically followed by the paranthesis. I laughed about that for 30 seconds (thirty seconds).
4) Although the e-mailer tried to create a fake e-mail address, his real one came through. Mr. H McKinney of Austin Community College.... address = firstname.lastname@example.org. Uh oh. Don't think Austin CC is going to be happy about British "business" being done on the school server. I hope the spam crawlers don't find his address and send him a lot of junk mail. That would be just sad.
5) I suppose it could be Ms. H. McKinney. Or McKinne for that matter.
6) Anyone trying to get me involved in a twenty-one million pound business deal is insane. They cannot be trusted with what little money I have.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Today I had a server who spoke fluent English. I gave him my order, then noticed that I could try "Fried Jalapenos" for only one dollar. I told him that I wanted an order of them. He looked me up and down and then said, "You mean you want some jalapeno poppers, right?"
"No," I said. "I want to try the fried jalapenos."
He shrugged and rang me up.
The fried jalapenos, when they came, were sort of like french fries. The jalapenos has been dropped whole into the boiling fat and then put in a sack. I took a bite off the tip, and it wasn't spicy at all. I took a bite toward the middle and it burned, but not too bad. I know that the seeds are what make it hot, and there are more as you move toward the stem. But I theorized that the frying process had somehow mildified them.
So I popped the rest of it into my mouth.
And it burned like the devil on Judgment Day. It was an eternal fire that followed that pepper all the way down.
My digestive system started sending emergency messages to my brain.
Digestion System: Someone is trying to poison us!
Brain: Remain calm, it's just a jalapeno.
Digestion: It burns like hot oil!
Brain: I admit that the jalapeno is fried.
Digestion: We're going to expel it!
Gag Reflex: Preparing to disgorge in three... two..
Brain: ABORT! ABORT! Do not... REPEAT... do not disgorge. We are in a restaurant. Can you please try to be civilized for once?
Digestion: It burns! It burns!
Brain: Feet and hands, find us something to douse this fire!
We eventually found some sour cream, cheese and water. The burn wore off in about fifteen minutes. My taste returned in under three minutes, so that was a plus. I shoveled Mexican food into my digestive system to keep the peppers down.
All in all, an excellent meal.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
The Tale of Desperaux is a computer animated adaptation of Kate DiCamillo's Newberry award winning novel of the same name.
It's the story of a young mouse who doesn't fit into mouse society because he wants to be a knight, not a cowardly rodent. He befriends and pledges allegiance to a human princess, and their fortunes are all mixed up with several rats, a castle maid, a chef, some sort of weird food genie, a dead queen and a mourning king.
As for the movie itself, I would say that (unlike many animated films) the best thing about it is probably the voice acting. Matthew Broderick, Sigourney Weaver and Dustin Hoffman all lend their voices, and all the performances of the actors are solid.
By far the worst thing about the movie to my mind was the ugly character designs. Even the characters that were supposed to be cute and charming were unattractive. And the ones meant to be ugly (like the leader of the rats) were so ugly as to be repulsive. Krista felt the same way, that the characters were a bit hard to look at. I think it may be that as CGI is advancing and characters look more lifelike, the exaggerations of certain cartoon styles begin to take on a sort of grotesque appearance. Maybe this is just us, though. The kids certainly didn't notice it.
I could have personaly done without the narrator, as well, who often distracted from the story by telling us the moral behind it by saying things about Forgiveness being the most powerful thing we can feel and so on. On the other hand, if you're going to have a didactic narrator, by all means, let's have Sigourney Weaver.
I actually liked a lot of the scene design... a lot of clever innovations in both the mouse and rat worlds (although my kids could have done without the skulls).
The movie was enjoyable, overall, and moved along nicely. It's not rip-snortingly funny or cute or adventurous. It watches a bit more like a fable... an entertaining story where every character seems to point us to a moral by the end.
At the end of it all, here's the most important thing. My kids loved it. Just adored it. They were thrilled to be there, loved watching it, and were bouncing around afterwards. So if you have kids and you're looking for a family movie, this is the one for you. And I can say without reservation that it was a million times better than that ridiculous trainwreck called WALL*E. Yes, feel free to send me your hate mail, but I was ready to send that little robot to the scrap heap. And my kids were bored in that movie. But they loved Desperaux.
Desperaux is rated G and releases this Friday, December 19th.
Here's the trailer:
Friday, December 12, 2008
Me: Yes, I did.
Z: Did you scan the picture in?
Z: Did anyone say anything about it?
Me: Dan Culbertson said that he thought that the moral should be, "Don't ever run."
Z (pause): Didn't anyone ever teach him about morals?
let the sun shine bright
let the moon show us your love
let the sun shine and show us your love
love is always here
if you feel like you don't have anybody to talk to
Jesus and God are always with you
just believe in them and go to heaven
they'll keep you safe
believe in the Lord
stones won't protect you
only Jesus can protect you
Come soon in the sky Jesus
if it's not today
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Looking at the chart above, you'll see that I'm 103% done with the first draft of my book. This is a good example of statistics being misleading. I'm still a few thousand words from the end, but I've hit the 60,000 word mark. So I overshot my goal on the word count. This is okay, actually, as I'm planning on removing an early chapter and several pages in a couple of other places.
What this means, of course, is that I'll have the rough draft done before the end of the month. Soon I'll be looking for some
Monday, December 08, 2008
Sunday, December 07, 2008
This is why I'm afraid of sharks.
Saturday, December 06, 2008
I wanted to sit with Krista on the couch and watch whatever she watched. So I got to see The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, the story of four girls who discover some magic pants that fit all of them even though they are different sizes. It also has magic powers or something, which was a little unclear. It helps you get boyfriends or something. Anyway, at the end of the movie (allow me to weakly warn you that spoilers are coming) somebody loses the pants in Greece where the one girl's estranged boyfriend lives and so the girls all go to Greece and the girl and her Greek boyfriend fall in love again but they never find the magic pants. And I just want to say, I know where the magic pants were. That Greek boyfriend totally stole them off the clothesline so that the girl would come to Greece and fall in love with him. Because that' s the way we Greek men go about things. We trick our women into loving us. P.S. Don't tell Krista.
After that I was needing a different flavor of show and Krista somehow agreed to watch an episode of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, which is the story of a killer robot who looks like a high school girl that has been sent back in time to protect a young man who is destined to become a freedom fighter who will lead the human resistance against the machines who have taken over the world. In the last third of the show I noticed that the robot girl Cameron had some jeans that looked really familiar. They looked... magical. Then there was a scene where she loving spoke to a Soda Machine and it seemed to really be into her. She was embarassed and coy, but I think it just might work out between those two crazy kids. She called all her best friends and they downloaded the whole night and studied it carefully.
Now it is time for bed. Good night, sweet revolutionaries. Sleep well.
Old Habits Die Hard. Last night two police cruisers pulled over a couple of cars at North Creek Church.
Christmas Decorations Going Up. Christmas cheer is coming the neighborhood. My favorite Christmas moment so far is that our neighbor several doors down has put up "singing" lights at his house. They play electronic carols so long as the lights are on. He did this just for our benefit, I'm sure, because he is deaf. So that was a nice thought on his part.
Econobama. Our Ukranian neighbor couldn't make a living from laying tiles any more, so he's spending some time as a trucker (which is what he used to do). I saw him driving up in his big red cab today, and I had a pleasant moment, reflecting that he was back in the neighborhood. Welcome home, friend. I hope Pres-Elect Obama is going to figure out a way that you can get back to laying tiles and spending time with your family again.
Friday, December 05, 2008
"I can run faster than you can, Spot," Sparkles said.
Sparkles and Spot decided to run a race. Spot warmed up by doing excercises. Sparkles warmed up by running back and forth. When the race started Sparkles was too tired to run a race so Spot won.
MORAL: Don't brag and your life will be better.
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
They will be playing in Portland on February 4th. I hope to see you there. I hope to see me there, as well.
Now, to counteract the creepy factor on BHR today, here's a Mexican Walking Fish:
Awww, isn't it cute? It's a kind of salamander. Looks like a Pokemon to me! I CHOOSE YOU MEXICAN WALKING FISH!
See more strange, creepy, disturbing and rare animals here. Via Boingboing.
Monday, December 01, 2008
"We lived a whole day without eating lunch!"
I thought that was a pretty good lesson.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
The last movie I saw in 3-D was Captain Eo.
Bolt is the story of a puppy who lives on a television set and believes he really is a super-dog with super powers. Through a series of events he ends up in the "real world" and has to try to save his owner with only the help of a delusional hamster and a cat "prisoner".
The movie was decent. The kids loved it. Little A cried at one point, she was so sad for Bolt. The television-show within a movie concept was a little confusing for both kids, as were the family situations (the owner had a single mom in "real life" and a single dad in "television life", and then an "agent" in real life who had sort of a paternal interaction with the kid). Overall, though, it was fine. Some good laughs, pleasant, no offensive message.
As for the 3D, it was fun to watch a 3D movie again. The glasses they hand out now are quality. Sometimes the movie distracts with the use of the 3D... "LOOK! The rock at the front of the screen is sticking out while the action goes on behind it"... but actually they were pretty relaxed about it, not a lot of things flying out at you all the time.
But let's be honest, 3D movies are meant to involve either space aliens or enormous monsters attacking things. And the best line from a 3D movie remains, "HOOTER ATE THE MAP!"
Friday, November 28, 2008
We also sent the kids racing down the side of the road (Shasta found a too-steep hill and pushed the kids down while no one was watching). Here's a picture of A snagging some air:
Tonight we went to see the Victorian Carolers, the tree lighting and the arrival of Santa Claus here at Sun River Lodge. It was a pretty dramatic affair, complete with fireworks, a parade and a dog fight. It was great and we had a lot of fun walking through the dark, lit only by luminarias.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
'Cause we're thankful for a lot of things.
When was the first Thanksgiving?
When the pilgrims celebrated at America.
What are you thankful for?
I'm thankful for my Mom and Dad and my Grandmas and Grandpas and Jesus' love.
What are you most excited about for Thanksgiving today?
Because it's almost my birthday.
To celebrate all the things that we give thanks for.
When was the first Thanksgiving?
When the pilgrims came.
What are you thankful for?
Daddy and Momma and the whole family.
What are you most excited about for Thanksgiving today?
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
I've already mentioned to a few of you, also, that I recently signed with a literary agent. For those of you non-writers out there, this is a Big Deal and I am very pleased. It's a long story of how it came about, but essentially Gary Thomas gave me a couple of referrals and one agent agreed to represent me and the book I'm currently working on. My agent is named Wes Yoder, and he's the President of Ambassador Literary Agency.
Wes has been great to work with... insightful, helpful, available and he has a sense of humor. Once I get the book done and the basic information for a proposal together, Wes will try to sell the book, probably this January sometime. Assuming I have the book done... I have to write it outside of work time, of course, because it's my hobby, not work. So I work on it during weekends and at night.
1) As we drove through a snowy pass, A said, "Dad, if the temperature was Zero Degrees would we turn into statues?"
2) Z started singing a Kwanzaa song. I asked her if she had any idea what Kwanzaa what it was and she said, "OOOOOOOOO KWANZAA!"
We're in Sun River now with my parents, Krista's parents and our good friend Shasta for Thanksgiving. So far the main rule is "Do whatever you like."
Monday, November 24, 2008
33,798 / 60,000
Despite the lack of forward motion, I have a good idea where we're headed for the next five or six chapters, which is good, and then we'll be well into the final third of the book! I think the Thanksgiving weekend will give me another good jump on it. We shall see.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Helmets Perfectly Designed for Upsetting Your Mother. On the same walk, as we came down a hill and turned toward another neighborhood a kid zoomed by on his bicycle, doing wheelies. He had no helmet on. He did have a helmet, but it was attached to his backpack. Which we could see as he continued to do wheelies down the street.
Houdini Dog... Unleashed? Also on this walk, we noticed one of the neighbor's dogs sniffing around the yard in one of Houdini Dog's favorite areas to deliver packages. I went over to the dog (a little blonde yapper) and it immediately started growling at me and walking backwards. I decided to leave the dog alone, come back from the walk and see what deed he had done, cementing his identity. However, upon my return there was no excretory evidence of his presence. Which brought me to this question... was the dog actually Houdini Dog, and, aware that I was aware of his presence he cleverly avoided leaving those tell tale signs of his passing? Or could it be that he is some sort of Dog equivalent to a Police Inspector, doing his best to capture and prosecute Houdini Dog? Sneaky, sneaky Houdini Dog. I'll catch you next time, my pretty.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Cashier: Oh, is this book meant to be the Christian answer to Harry Potter?
Boy: Uh, no. Not really.
Cashier: Did you read those books... the Harry Potter books?
Cashier: Did you want to read them or did you get forced to read them at school?
Mother: He and his father read them together so they could discuss them.
Cashier: They're just terrible. I heard that a girl becomes a witch and flies around the room.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
this post is the result of tough love related threats concerning me not working on my book and what ninjas will due to me if I don't get back to it
30,406 / 60,000
Officially passed the halfway mark tonight. Yay!
AND watched Steve Martin on 30 Rock. Yay again!
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
When they won their last game, my Mother-In-Law celebrated with the kids by taking them out for pumpkin milkshakes, because OSU's colors are orange and black. I told the kids that the next time OSU wins they'll have to go out and get black licorice milkshakes. They didn't seem as excited as I had hoped.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
I know, that's not a stretch for anyone to imagine.
My job at the PTA-sponsored Burgerville night was to hand out the food to the customers after the Burgerville employees cooked the food. I received no special training. I was neither asked nor required to wash my hands. But I did have an apron, setting me apart from the "customers" and also giving the impression that I was too inept to walk from the counter to the tables without possibly spilling food on myself.
Since the *last* time the PTA "helped" at Burgerville we apparently threw away too many of the little plastic numbers given to customers to let us know their order number, Burgerville now had us using sticky notes to discern who should get which order. The main drawback of sticky-note with a pen-written "108" vs. a plastic tent with a printed 108 has to do with ability to see the number. Add to this the strange human compulsion to roll sticky notes into little cigarette shapes and you suddenly have a lot of parents in aprons walking around and saying things like, "ONE-OH-EIGHT? A hundred and eight? One-zero-eight? It's a milkshake, people. For number one hundred and eight." The less bold parent helpers just walked in circles around the restaurant like Indy 500 racecars (only much slower), hoping that 108 would look over and snatch the milkshake from their hands.
The last time that the PTA hosted this event the teachers served the food, which resulted in our children clamoring to go see their teacher serve burgers, which is, after all, a rare event. Hundreds of people lined up, stretching out of the building and around the restaurant. Tonight the parents helped serve the food, which apparently children see every single day, so the crowd seemed smaller to me. Every few minutes the organizer would come over and say, "It's going to get really busy any minute!" She would look out the window, as if expecting a caravan of cars to pull in.
Burgerville donates 10% of the proceeds from tonight's event to the kids' school, and that's what really matters. So a huge thank you to Burgerville and the Sarah J PTA! And also to me for helping serve food.
27,268 / 60,000
This puts me just shy of halfway (obviously). I'm just starting chapter 18.
In other news, tonight I'm volunteering at Burgerville for the PTA from the kids' school. That's almost certainly going to provide something for the blog, don't you think?
Monday, November 17, 2008
Now I won't have old men walk up to me and say things like, "I wore a cardigan like that every day for twenty years when I worked at Albertson's grocery store."
No longer will I be able to say, "You know, in Europe this is considered fashionable."
No longer will I feel the warm fuzzyness of lamb's wool upon my arms.
Unless, of course, I just keep wearing it anyway. And that is what I am planning on doing.
OLD MAN SWEATER FOREVER!
Sunday, November 16, 2008
The second is called "Slumdog Millionaire." The basic conceit as I understand it is that the main character is on the Indian version of "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" and each question causes a flashback into his life that slowly helps us put together his story and the centrality of a long lost love to why he's on the show. Sounds interesting.
Krista says she'll watch "Slumdog Millionaire" with me, but "Waltz With Bashir" will be on my own. Anyone interested in watching a serious cartoon?
Saturday, November 15, 2008
A man's wife is brutally murdered. He's suspected of the crime, but we the audience know he's innocent. Eight years later he receives an e-mail that tells him his wife is alive... but to tell no one because he's being watched.
And that's pretty much all I can say. It was a good movie, nice to have a thriller with a slightly more sedate pace (i.e. not summer blockbuster style). The movie is really a meditation on family, justice and obligation. It was interesting and Krista and I had a good conversation about it on the way home.
Not Rated. There were several violent scenes where Krista needed to cover her eyes, and there was a great deal of swearing in French, also some brief nudity. The movie isn't rated, but I'm certain it would be rated R.
20,838 / 60,000
I'm having a lot of fun writing it. I'll fill you in a bit more in the near future.