Monday, March 31, 2008

You can run on for a long time.

Happy monday, folks.

To address a few quick questions: Yes, I will start blogging more regularly at some point. No, it's not right now. No, I haven't asked that girl to coffee yet. Yes, I still intend to. No, I'm not avoiding the issue. There were intervening circumstances. Trust me. And yes, I do indeed have some links for your entertainment.

--You may have seen the site Stuff White People Like. (The author has now inked a book deal; good for him!) Well, Prodigal Jon has whipped up a similar site with an even smaller sub-group: Stuff Christians Like. (Notice the first entry: "Putting a God Spin on Popular Secular Ideas." HA!) If you have sung "Friends are Friends Forever" at church camp, read "Left Behind," or know who Psalty is, you should check it out.

--Wanna hear the new Death Cab For Cutie song? Here ya go.

--Here's American Book Review's list of the top 100 "last lines" in literature.

--Opening Day of the 2008 Major League Baseball season! Go Cubbies!

--And this, really, is golden. Something for your church-going basketball fans (h-t: Dan Phillips):

Monday, March 24, 2008

Seems like it's been a long time...

...since I've really said anything around here. I don't know why. Maybe I got scared of pouring so much out here. (Not likely.) Maybe I just got lazy. Blogging, as ephemeral a medium as it may be, is still taxing. Either way, I've been silent for a bit too long.

It's the end of the day, so I won't get all philosophical on you. That may come later. But for now, here's what's going on in my world.

--Easter is here finally. Christ has risen and I am restored. Hallelujah. But what does that mean for me now, today, Monday? How does the Resurrection change my life between Sundays? That's the question I haven't really been asking myself for years, and the one I should have been thinking about all along.

--D. Johnson, if you somehow read this, know that Jesus is real, and that He loves you and understands your doubt. He calls you to know Him better and more. He wants to strengthen your faith. But you have to be willing to let Him. Too many people, when doubting, are afraid to stop doubting, because the repercussions are too costly. Doubt is free; belief is pricey. But the cost of faith is worthwhile, for the reward of faith is priceless: finally seeing what (and Whom) you first believed without seeing. I look forward to that great and glorious day, and I look forward to seeing you there.

--Baseball starts in a week. I'm hoping to conduct myself better this year, to enjoy it within its right and good order of priority. May baseball make me glad, but may the Cross make me cheer.

--I'm back on the diet. Sort of. Easter weekend was a bit of a loss. Too much candy, and good food, and too little control. But I need to get in shape, to take care of the body I've taken for granted for twenty-odd years. Let food be my fuel, and Christ be my feast. Maybe that's the best thing I took away from Lent, despite my many failings during its exercise.

--I'm writing again, a little. It's hard to get back into the habit. I'll show you some of it soon.

--I fully intend to ask a certain girl out to coffee this evening, and I have no idea how she will respond. It's possible I will completely chicken out, but I'm tired of being scared or uneasy, so my goal is to just get on with it, spit it out, and deal with the consequences. "If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done quickly." Or somesuch saying.

--Blogwars are stupid. Blogwars between Christians are double-stupid. Blogwars between Christians that become full-on multi-year feuds are triple-stupid. Don't be triple-stupid, no matter if you're a "believing Roman soldier" or an "online cloistered brother." (Ah, what's the use, neither of you will see this anyway.)

--I love Jesus, but not enough. And it shows.

--I have a reputation at my work for being able to spot a bawdy pun or double entendre from a mile off. Much to my deep embarrassment, my coworkers (all of them outside the faith) insist that I'm the dirty-mindedest of them all. It's a fair charge, and I repent of it. I confess this before you, my friends and family. I thought I was just being clever, but I was really just being corrupted. And this has become the frontline of my inner spiritual battle. Please pray for me.

--I'm going to Bible study. Have a good night.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

"Linky-Love, Exciting and New..."

"Come aboard, we're expecting yoooooooooooooooou..."


And then there's this.



111 men go shopping shirtless at Abercrombie and Fitch. Grasp the irony with me: over a hundred men of all shapes, sizes, and degrees of hairyness patronize a store that makes its fortune on the images of toned, tanned, hairless, shirtless men. The store even hires a model to stand shirtless in the lobby and greet patrons.

And then! The management of the store make the men leave, telling them they can't shop unless they're wearing shirts--as they march them past murals, statues, and the model, all displaying their bare torsos.

Hilarious. Wake up, people. A&F makes its profits on selling you a lie. Embrace the real. (Rant over.)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Ain't it a kick in the head.

Attention male readers of PBB:

Beau Hughes' recent message at The Village Church is both encouraging and incredibly convicting. Worth your 50 minutes. Listen to it here. (Or download the podcast. Village Church sermons are pretty good.)

You single guys (Do I have any single male readers anymore? The only ones who comment seem to be married.), listen to it and then discuss in the com-box below what you drew from it.

After listening to it, here's what I'm chewing on: I've been using my need for sanctification (read: my lingering selfishness and laziness) as an excuse for not pursuing marriage, but it may well be that the best way to break that down is within a marriage setting. Discuss.

Married guys, I'd appreciate your input too. Give the sermon a listen, and provide some "other side of the aisle" insights.

...Okay, I suppose you ladies may appreciate some of it, too. But it's pretty much a brickbat-to-the-face for single guys in the high end of their 20s. In a good way.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The Thin Line between Autobiography and Fiction

You read a blog post of an old friend who you still find vaguely interesting in a boy-girl way, in which the author describes their likes and dislikes regarding the opposite gender. You find yourself suddenly and irrationally wondering what you could do to make them like you *that way*.

You skip over to another website, where a young man has linked to his bride's blog. You click over to hers also. You look at each person's profile photo, and imagine them together. How they interact. What their voices sound like. How they make each other laugh.

Someone emails out of the deep dark blue of your past. You remember what their kiss tasted like, although, had you any sense in those heady days, you would never have taken the liberty to find out in the first place.

And when you sit down at your keyboard, you think, "How can I convey this swirl of memory and emotion without slipping into melodrama?"

You try wording the rumination in the third person. "He" felt this way, and remembered the time way back when. "She" smiled as she recalled the way his hand felt in hers. But you know, nose-plainly, that every reader will decipher the code. No one will be fooled by your chicanery. They will interpret the "he's" and "she's" as "you's." Every writer writes what they know, and every reader knows that writers do so.

So where does that leave you? You fumble for the answer. You fume. You want to describe how the flower you see blooming in other people's gardens make you wish for buds in your own. You try to explain the idle feeling of wanting every person you meet to fall in love with you, and how whenever someone describes their perfect match, you naturally work down the list to see if you qualify.

But you can't. Not even if you put your voice in some character's throat.

You decide against writing about it at all. You realize there's no way to express these thoughts without coming across as needy or self-pitying, despite your protestations to the contrary.

You close out the "new post" window and cruise over to Facebook to see who's updated their "status" in the last hour.

Monday, March 03, 2008

In like a Linky-Love Lion...

Presents I've collected for you during my blog-vacay:
  • Quick brag: I got a new phone. It looks a bit like this one, but in "deep steel blue."
  • GameDaily ranks the top 25 Nintendo games of all time. The list is a little Wii-heavy, and the commenters are uniformly mouth-breathing imbeciles, but it's a fun little blast from my gaming past. (Until I got my PS2, I was Nintendo-loyal all the way.)
  • Video Game Challenge: Name the entire cast of Mike Tyson's Punch-Out in less than 2 minutes! (I only got 7 or so.)
  • Apparently, the Wendy's logo is offensive. (Okay, not really, but it's a hilarious video. The reactions of the passers-by are priceless.)
  • The upcoming Guitar Hero game is Aerosmith-centric? Wow. Better break out my Steven Tyler PJs and practice my mic-stand dancing.
  • It's cool to hear what Andy Griffith is up to these days. Okay, maybe I'm the only one who cares, but still...
  • The IMonk's pseudo-Screwtape take on Christian schools is dead on and worth a look. Like I tell people, the only difference between kids at Christian schools and kids at public schools is that we learned how to hide our sins better.
  • This is a great song (and fan video). By the way, if any of your folks in the Houston area are interested, Mike Doughty (formerly of Soul Coughing) will be performing at the Texas Crawfish Festival next month. I'll be there, sounds like fun.
  • If you've been reading my Facebook status updates, you've no doubt noticed that I've been goofing on Barack Obama for a while now. (Today's quote is: "Dave wonders: If Obama were a hotdog, and he were starving, would he eat himself--for CHANGE?") Well, it's really due to stuff like this. And I'm inspired by the off-the-wall brilliance of something as simple as this. C'mon folks. He's just a dude. He'll end up being as messed up as every other human politician. I promise.
  • Here's a video of a 3-year-old explaining the plot of Star Wars. Be prepared to need to detox afterward, due to the near-fatal levels of "teh cuteness."
  • Want details about the upcoming X-Files film? Here you go! Want to read an interview with the stars? Here you go! Want proof that Gillian Anderson is still a babe? Here! You! Go!
  • How about a video of the faces of Hollywood "beauty" through the years?
  • Okay, Lost-Heads, this is what we know about the layout of the Island so far.
  • Awesome, we get to see another round of "Bourne Reborn" or "Bourne...Again" headlines. My vote for the title? "The Bourne Requiem." Because "Requiem" sounds awesome in just about any title.
  • Can't remember the song lyrics? Tap it out, man.
  • Just try to take Daniel Day-Lewis seriously now.
  • Best. Band at a 4H Fair. Evar. (Any shout-out to "The Beets" guarantees awesomeness.)
  • "Feeeeeeee-neh! Fee-hee-hee-HEEEEE-neh!"
  • I don't care what they call it, it will be Wrigley now and forever. Fathers will tell their sons, and they will tell their sons, and so it shall remain until the last game is played.
  • Here's something those of you (us) who use movie quotes on a daily basis.
  • So when does good TV come back? Here's an updated list.
  • Poor, sad, schizophrenic Jon Arbuckle.
  • I may have some theological problems with Rob Bell's Nooma videos, but that won't stop me from picking up the soundtrack.
  • Speaking of CDs: why did none of you mention that Kevin Max had a new album?!?!? Throw me a frickkin' BONE here!
  • Also: New Counting Crows music comes out three weeks from tomorrow! (And I just pre-ordered it, with the Kevin Max album kicked in. Thank you, Amazon!)
That's it, I guess. I'm "back" to blogging, for the time being, though I may split my efforts between this site and a side project that will go "live" in a week or so. We'll see how it goes.

Happy March!