Friday, September 30, 2005

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Seems like i keep on saying this...

What sucks is I've been enjoying a nice boost in site traffic, which is now going to disappear. Suck.

Well, my friends, it's been a fun few days, but I'm going offline for the rest of the week. I'll be in the delightfully mild city of Pittsburgh, soaking the high temperatures of the low 60's and dealing with a boring conference. Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers, for safe travel and general peace of mind. I could use both.

And if I owe you an email, don't worry. I haven't emailed ANYONE in about two weeks. I'll remedy that in the next few.

Paz y gracia.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005


I'm sitting here, half-working and chatting with friends far away, when the idea occurs to me to grab some Chipotle for dinner, to sit and eat and enjoy, and walk next door to Starbucks. I spy the clock. Almost quarter to seven.

The thought races between the ears, "I can't--I've got to get home to watch TV." I go over the list. There's "The Biggest Loser" and "Gilmore Girls" from seven to eight. There's "House" from eight to nine. I'm sure there's something else at nine.

Then, the counter-thought explodes, "Wait a minute--I'm letting TV dictate my schedule! Bump that mess."

So I think I've decided to finish my current work thing (another twenty minutes or so), hop on the train northbound instead of south, grab a burrito, and sit down with a mocha frap and read Karamazov (which is turning into an amazing book).

Of course, by the time I get to the train, I may just chuck the plain for a sandwich at home. But it won't be because of television, by gum!

...Of course, if it were Thursday, things would be different.

"skip to the good part"

if i had the faith to move mountains
of laundry, i'd get more done in one solar spin cycle
than any Sun Tzu planning epic conquests
of housework. but some days i feel like
the Art of Warm food requires too much effort.
i'd rather skip the stovework and step right to the
piping hot plate. like most things in life,
i'd prefer product to process.
i want dinner without cooking, clean clothes without laundry,
promotions without long hours, pay checks without
two weeks' work, thinness without gyms and treadmills
and calorie carb counts.

relationship without singleness first.
love without sacrifice.
i want to be perfect, but i don't want to be perfected.
i want to be holy, but Lord knows I don't want to have to be

some days, i'd rather fast forward to the golden time to come,
i'd rather skip over what seem to be the dark ages
so i can get on with the renaissance of my life.

i keep forgetting that every day is rebirth,
that every moment is perched on the brink of

[hey sunshine--welcome to the good part.]

Worthy of a 1-Up

If I ever see awards being given out for best blog page design, I'm nominating Jesse over at PlasticMind. Awesome.

Tuesday Required Reading

Joe Carter on Biblical illiteracy. Discuss.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Target owns my soul...

Because every time I go there, I have to buy a new CD or DVD.

Yesterday was no exception. I can't help it--it's so pretty.

Calling off the search...

I've decided to call of the search for the Future Mrs. Teacherdave. I am slowly realizing that the love and intimacy I'm looking for cannot be filled by some girl, and it would be unfair of me to expect that of her (whomever she may be [have been]).

Man's greatest emotional need, or at least mine, is to be known and accepted. To be loved despite flaws. That kind of blind love, that disregards weakness and inability and brokenness, can only come from God. To expect anyone else to fill that void is foolish.

So, I'm going to try harder to seek that love from the One who I know can and will give it. If a FMTD comes into the picture down the road, so be it and praise God. But if it doesn't happen, I want to be at peace with that. I've got too much of my life left to live to be pining for an unknown.

I was eating lunch with some dear friends from church who just got engaged. The female half of said couple leans over to me and says, "Dave, I want you to know that I'm praying for you to find someone, because if anyone deserves someone, it's you." Her fiance nodded his agreement, between bites of burrito. I thanked her and replied (sincerely), "Instead, how about you pray that I become the person I need to be for that to happen? That's what I need right now." She accepted that answer.

That's what I need right now. I still have so much growing up to do. So I want to focus on becoming the fully-realized version of myself that I was created to be. The "real" Dave is the one whose shoes I'll walk in sometime in the future. I'm the "in-progress" Dave now. The "under-construction" Dave.

So there you go. Call off the dogs, delete the personal ads (just kidding, there aren't any personal ads, I swear). Tell Cupid to stick his arrows elsewhere. Dave's not buying. Not for a while.

[I really want this to be true. I really want to flip a switch and turn off this foolishness. Hopefully, in the coming weeks and months, I'll really mean what I wrote here.]

PBB Cool Ten (9/25-10/2)

10. 77-79. We still have a chance for a winning record, but if we play spoiler to the Astros' wild card run, I may just get fired. So maybe we can forgoe a winning season this year. We certainly didn't earn it.
9. Finished the Yancey book. Finally. It was good, though. Recommended.
8. I'm almost done with Searching for God Knows What by Don Miller. Oddly enough, I REALLY liked it. So, highly recommended. And coming from me, that's something.
7. Also recommended: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (unless you are offended by mid-level profanity and the word "erection"). Hilarious and heartbreaking at the same time.
6. Knott Hedberg is the worst goalie ever. Or at least, against Tampa.
5. I'm leaving for Pitt Thursday morning.
4. Smallville premiere is Thursday night! Too bad it'll be all sexed up this season; that usually means the writing is skidding downhill.
3. Spending time with the Ledesmas is always cool--even during inclement weather.
2. My birthday is two weeks from Friday. Came up fast, this year.
1. God is gracious. Full of grace.

A Word about the Chinese

I'd like to take this moment to discuss the Chinese. Specifically, Chinese food. I probably haven't mentioned it before, but I'd like to now name "Chinese Food" as the "Official Take-out Food of PBB."

But I do have a point of confusion. If I ate Chinese food every day, as I find it being served in most mid-level establishments, I'd die of complete artery blockage, like, tomorrow. So my question is, why do Chinese people generally seem fitter than everyone else?

There are a few possibilities.

1) Their portions are smaller. I find this hard to believe personally, because of the nature of the Chinese Buffet. Doesn't make sense that they'd be a "small portion" set--unless the advent of the buffet was just to feed their piggish Western friends.

2) Higher metabolisms. Possible, but that can't account for everything. Fried is fried, no matter how well you process it. And a diet that is 95% rice can't be healthy, no matter how well you digest it.

3) It's not REALLY Chinese food. Also possible. What we call "Chinese food" may be a gross misrepresentation. An "Americanization" of Chinese cuisine. But then again, why are so many Chinese people supporting such a fallacy? Surely they would have some sense of pride, to correct this mistaken understanding of their culinary arts.

These three theories may all play a part, but I have a fourth: they play more DDR. (I know, Dance Dance Revolution is more Japanese than Chinese. Stay with me on this.) The key to fitness, despite a delicious-but-incredibly-bad-for-you food culture, is exercise. How do Chinese people get exercise? They play lots of DDR. And I think they march a lot, too.

So there you go. Mystery solved.

(This completely-tongue-in-cheek, culturally-ignorant post was brought to you by Sesame Chicken, Wonton Soup, and the lucky numbers 5, 11, 14, 29, 33, and 44.)

*placeholder post*

[Come back later today, I'll have good stuff.]

Praise God for His grace on Houston. My family and friends and I didn't get anything worse than minor power outages.

Please remember to pray for the people who got the worst of Rita.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

"Here I am--Rock you like a Hurricane"

The storm's moving in, and it looks like it could be a bad one. As such, I'm fleeing the immediate area and seeking safer ground, just in case.

So, to entertain you whilst I am away:

Pray for Houston. And if you could, for me and mine. Talk to you all next week sometime.

Peace and grace to you, from our Lord Christ Jesus.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Odds and Ends

[opening music: "All Night" by Sam Phillips]

I'm still hung up on this "Doctor Zhivago" issue. I mean, why the hell do people find this romantic? There is longing, there is passion, yes. But there is very much betrayal and selfishness and heartache. One coworker (yes, i'm discussing this here at work) commented, "It must be the music and the setting, mainly; people get swept up in that." And I can see that. The visuals and the music are used to provoke an emotional response, but I kept being pulled back out of the film by the very idea of what was going on. I don't know why people have a hard time understanding this very simple fact: there is absolutely nothing noble about infidelity. Nothing. There is nobility in sticking it out, if you're in a less-than-ideal situation.** Which, by the way, the good Doctor wasn't. But cheating is despicable. So, chalk Dr. Z up on my list of the most UNromantic movies ever made.

[**Though I shouldn't need to, I will go ahead and pause to mention that I'm not talking about "sticking it out" in abusive situations. No one should EVER put up with abuse. But, at the same time, abuse doesn't excuse infidelity, either. However, that's neither here nor there in this context.]


Despite the discouragements of better angels, I bought something frivolous yesterday whilst purchasing laundry supplies. (Sidenote: Target will be the end of me, financially.) I picked up the Best of INXS compilation CD (on sale for nine bucks, I justified to myself). As you may be aware, I've become quite a fan of the TV program, "RockStar:INXS." The band's original lead singer, Michael Hutchence, committed suicide in 1997. Now, the band is using this contest to find the best new rock vocalist to replace him and front the band.

As much as I hate American Idol, which this contest vaguely resembles, I've really gotten into this show, and have watched it regularly since Week 1. There are a few key differences between this show and its pop-crap counterpart. Namely, the performers are really talented rockers, many from small, local bands. They come from all over the US, Canada, and Austrailia. And most importantly, while the viewers, by voting for their favorites, "select" the bottom three, it is the band alone that sends people home, because they are the ones who will be stuck with the winner. It's been an entertaining ten weeks or so.

One unexpected side effect of watching this show was that I've become a fan of INXS' music, which I wasn't familiar with beforehand. (Part of their nefarious plan, I'm sure.) Each week, the "bottom three" sing an INXS song to survive. So I've heard a good deal of their "hits" over the weeks watching the show. Thus, buying the CD. And if my favorite performer wins (Go Marty Casey!), I may even look into tickets to the next concert tour. No, I'm not joking. I've drank the Kool-Aid, and it's overpowering cherryness tastes good.


I've been enjoying an online comic called "Sluggy Freelance." I would link to the homepage, but they're on this weird space pirate kick right now, so that may not be as funny. It's a serial comic, after all. I'm slowly working my way through the archives. Quite amusing. Try starting here, with the introduction of the requisite "cute, talking animal"--unfortunately, one with a homicidal streak. (Beware of bunnies with big knives...on the Ides of March.)


Nine days. While some storylines may go south, I'm pleased to see that The Powers That Be are ramping up the mythology-related storylines (Fortress of Solitude, Brainiac) this season. Who's got two thumbs and is a big, happy geek? This guy. For those of you who missed it--okay, all of you--last season's super-sized finale is being reaired on Thursday at 7.


[interim music: "On Love, In Sadness" by Jason Mraz]


Hmm. Ran out of "odds." So here's the end.

[closing music: "Tongue-Tied" by Aqualung]

Snarky Two-Sentence Reaction to the Second Half of "Doctor Zhivago" and Commentary on the Nature of Human Fidelity and its Role in the Romantic Ideal

"So, on your way back from cheating on your rather cute and lovingly devoted wife, you were kidnapped by the Red Army and forced to take care of their people for an incredibly long time, before returning and (instead of seeking out your wife and two children) living with your adulterous lover and her child, until the political climate made it necessary for her to flee, at which time you abandoned her yet again... Hold on a minute, I'm confused--am I supposed to feel sorry for you?"

Feed Your Ego

A dear friend was honest with me today. That type of thing is never fun, but it was necessary.

There's a nefarious side effect of blogging. It gets you in the habit of interacting with other people by primarily talking about yourself. This is bad enough in a normal person, but for someone in whom this trait already exists, this is bad news. It only reinforces this bad habit, making it iron-clad.

I tend to live in my head more than is probably healthy. I overthink. I ponder. I puzzle. I belabor. I revel in self-doubt, in worry, in frustration, in self-pity.

I've turned inward. And for the last several years, it has affected my relationships with family, friends, and loved ones.

During our conversation today, I shared a long, involved personal story. This story involved my admitting that my self-focus hurt a very important relationship in my life. And at the end of the story, my kind friend gently pointed out that I'm still doing it. I've learned nothing.

And that's absolutely true. I was struck by the obviousness of it.

Just call me Captain Oblivious.

[By the way, the irony of a post talking about one's own self-involvement has been duly noted, yes.]

Monday, September 19, 2005


Unless you've been living under a ROCK, you already know that today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

If you're looking for the special gift for the pirate in your life, might i suggest this?

I also thought it'd be a good time to highlight some notable pirates.

In no particularrrr order:

Steve the Pirate
Patch the Pirate
Roberto Clemente
The Dread Pirate Roberts
Captain Jack Sparrow
Long John Silver
the guy at the beginning of the Spongebob theme song
James Hook

Pithy One-sentence Reaction to the First Half of "Doctor Zhivago", as well as Commentary on Early-20th-century Eurasian Political History.

Boy, it sure sucked being Russian, am I right?

Friday, September 16, 2005

The PBB Third Anniversary Ridiculous Trivia Quiz! (Now with Answers!)

In honor of PBB's third birthday, I present the following impossibly hard quiz (scoured from the archives), covering the history of the site and (mildly) important events in its existence.

So, basically, if you're REALLY BORED, this could be mildly entertaining.


1) Who were the first three bloggers i linked to, in any form? Riss, Bill Barol, and Willam
2) What was the original title of the blog? "Anything to Disrupt the Tedium"
3) List my 5-7 most overlooked Christian CDs of all time. See here and here.
4) How many spin-off blogs have I created? Actually, at last count, 5. All but two are gone now.
5) Which class gave me the most trouble as a teacher? The pesky 10th-B class.
6) What was the "dream" described in "A Dream Realized"? Seeing the Counting Crows live.
7) What were Brother Thomas Delphius' posts about? Stewardship ("Jesus stuff" doesn't count as an answer, sorry.)
8) Which Empire Records character am I? Lucas, of course.
9) Which publisher did I specifically talk about applying to? Zondervan
10) Who's Ophelia? An old girlfriend.
11) What's the best name that the Future Mrs. Teacherdave can have? Jane.
12) What was the title of the series of posts involving meeting Robbie Seay and hearing Seth Woods play? "Stranger in a Strange Land Bookstore"
13) Who originated the Thursday Thirteen? Manders
14) How many books did I read in 2003? I don't remember, you look it up. End of December.
15) Which Cowboy Bebop character am I? Spike, of course.
16) Name 3 of the "Ten CD's I Can't Live Without." Check it.
17) Who's Meselech? My WorldVision kiddo.
18) Which Presidential candidate did PBB officially endorse? (had to throw a softball in there) Um, duh. Chimpy McBushitlerburtonron.
19) Where was the destination of my last big business trip? St. Louis
20) What event did NOT cause the world to end? Electing Chimpy McBushitlerburtonron again.
21) When did the first Cool Ten appear? 11/30/04
22) Who was involved in "The Scam that Wasn't"? How'd that ultimately end up? Miss A and the Italian, who later got married and asked me to be the Best Man.
23) What was the title of my "Ginsberg homage" poem? "Shrug"
24) Fill in the blank: "_______, and I write the songs." (3 words) "I am Manilow"
25) What was the last song on my 2004 soundtrack? "Yahweh" by U2
26) How many books are in the "Dark Tower" series? Seven
27) Who was my most read author of BOTH 2003 and 2004? The King
28) What's the name of the official end-of-the-year award given here at PBB? The Slackie
29) Which movie "just might be the loveliest movie ever made"? It's a Wonderful Life
30) Which 100 Acre Wood character am I, according to the quiz? Pooh-bear, of course
31) Who did I hang out with, this past New Year's Eve? the rockinest people in Killeen, the Couris
32) How many chapters of Taylor House are posted thusfar? 10
33) What Biblical story was the subject of my very first "Bible Redux" post (though it wasn't named that at the time)? the Book of Job
34) What was the subject of "How Not to Do Things: Holiday Edition"? one really bad Valentine's Day
35) What was my favorite Super Bowl commercial? Honoring the Troops, by the beer company
36) I did a bonus Cool Ten of quotes from a single movie. Which movie? "I Heart Huckabees"
37) What color was my critique of the PoMo/Emergent church movement written in? green
38) What is Thursday BBP? "brown bag poetry"
39) What's April 28? "Embrace the Lame Day"
40) Which Ring-wraith am I? The Witch-King of Engmar, of course
41) Why does Snoop Dogg always carry an umbrella? Fo' drizzle.
42) What's the "closing credits" song in "The Soundtrack of My Life"? "The Luckiest Man on the Face of the Earth" by Waterdeep
43) Fill in the blank: It's time for everyone's favorite game, "Recaptioning __________ Photos!" (two words) "Harry Potter"
44) Why is Buc-ee's famous? "Home of the Creepy Beaver Logo"
45) Which Christian artist did I used to be a big fan of, until the most recent album? What's the name of the album? John Reuben, "The Boy vs. The Cynic"
46) Where does the name "Perfect Blue Buildings" come from? a Counting Crows song
47) What hyphenated title do I claim proudly for myself? "slacker-lit-geek"
48) Which Classic Leading Man am I? Jimmy Stewart
49) Cake or pie? Always, always, always, always CAKE.
50) Was this a colossal waste of time? Probably.

So, how'd ya do?


0-10: You're a casual reader. S'cool.
10-20: You read enough to remember things. I appreciate it.
20-30: Wow, you've been paying attention.
30-40: You're either Manders or you have been combing the archives.
40-50: You remember more of this than I do. That's flattering... and rather creepy. Stop stalking me, please.

What's today?

Let's hear it. Anyone? Anyone?

Also: Calling out all the lurkers. Time to sign in and say hello.

(Expect light posting today. Too much work to be done.)


Thursday, September 15, 2005

[less than]

You should read this and this and any of this, if you want to see what good writing can be.

Read their pages, not the nonsense I publish.

(Some days, my furthest flights of fancy have not the faith to lift a stunted mustard seed of feeling.)

frankly, and i say this with no intention of self-pity, i am not feeling very good about being a writer, because i don't seem to write the way that i love writing to be.


Adjective. 1 : binding in law or conscience. 2 : relating to or enforcing an obligation. 3 : mandatory, required.

There's not much to tell. Almost two weeks ago, I showed up, was "oriented," and was sent to the Reliant Center. My job was to greet the evacuees being transferred from part of the Astrodome to this newly opened center. I was to lead them to the proper section of the shelter, pointing out all of the services available, and their locations. I did this for five hours or so, before getting tired and deciding to go home.

I really don't want to embellish or expound.


When the crowd of desperate, dripping evacuees first arrived across the street, my feelings were pretty clearly divided: one part pity, one part apprehension, one part distrust. I say this with shame. I felt bad for them, certainly. But I didn't trust them. My idea of such people was fueled by the TV news, of images of looting and violence. I was afraid that it would begin here.

I tried to suppress this thought, to stifle it, to kill it with Christian charity. I kept reading the parable of the sheep and goats, and kept telling myself that my reaction to the mass of needy people should be like Christ's. Christ would have viewed them with pure love and compassion, not distrust. My spirit accused me at every turn. My heart was heavy.

I went to the complex to volunteer, and everything changed. Talking to the families broken up because of the storm, I began seeing them as lonely, scared people. Not dangerous, not desperate. Just scared of having to depend on strangers in a strange city for their very life. All that the people I spoke to wanted was a chance to start over, to care for themselves and their own, to get jobs and become productive members of society again.

There are still some dangerous people among the mass that has fled Louisiana. But the vast majority of them just want to be able to live their lives peaceably. My eyes were opened to this, and I stopped being afraid.

I haven't really talked about them in detail, on this blog or elsewhere, since I volunteered that afternoon. Frankly, and I painfully admit this, I had grown tired of being sad for them. I'm weary of doing the little good I have. I had to stop watching the news. I'm tired of crying for others. I'm tired of weeping for their misfortune. I feel like I have nothing more to give, emotionally.

I confess this. This is all wrong. My attitude is all wrong. I'm becoming selfish again. I'm turning inward. Not because I don't want to help them, but because I don't want to hurt for them. How You must weep, El Roi. How great are Your tears. I have no more to shed. My soul is dried out and withering.

I'm typing this post out of duty. I owe them this. But I don't feel like I have anything to give them. I feel soul-poor as it is, just with the childish, tiny cares of my own spoiled, over-blessed life. I'm reaching the end of myself. My heart doesn't want to give of its own anymore.

From this point forward, any love or compassion I have left is purely and solely the work of the Spirit of God. Because I cannot produce it of myself.

[I beg you, Almighty Father, fill me with love and sacrifice, with pity and compassion that drives action, so that I may again be your hands and feet. Without your power and spirit, I am only a withering branch.]


You know, Sunday was 9/11. And my honest confession to you is, I didn't want to celebrate it. I didn't want to remember.

I've had enough of mourning. There is too much to mourn.

Yet, if I don't remember, I dishonor those who died. I betray the victims of that man-made tragedy. And however base and cheap my honor is, it cannot sink to that despicable level.

So go here. I don't have the strength of heart or mind to retell it.

I called this post obligatory. It is so, in the first definition's sense. Because my conscience cannot let me go without posting SOMETHING about these two events, and the people affected.

Some part of me is ashamed that the only reason I'm posting is to feel better about myself. But that's why I do most things. To quell the accusing voice in my head.


Ah, my dear and beloved friends. If you are looking for Christ, don't look to me today. I'm getting tangled up in my own corruption again.

I'm supposed to be sending out the Bible study class' weekly email this afternoon. It always includes the upcoming events for the class, as well as some words of spiritual encouragement.

I don't know if i can send it. I have nothing good to say. But of course, I will send it. Like so many things today, it's required of me.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Don't go away, say that you'll stay...

Random-thought-generator post:

--I've got a splitting headache. Allergy/sinus related. Freaking pollen or whatever the crap it is that is causing this. Freaking Nature.

--I feel like I should post on the Katrina survivors and my experience with them. But yet part of me just does not want to go into it. All the little comments I've made so far, I want them to be enough. But I know it's not. So, yes, it's coming up in the next day. Just to get it out and done with.

--I also want to run a few posts about the music festival from last weekend. I understand of course that this will only really be entertaining to Willam and myself. But I'm willing to run that risk, just to chronicle the experience.

--I want to write a meaningful, literary blog, full of mystery, elusiveness, and breathtaking skill. I want to blog like Huggins, basically. It frustrates me that I don't. But then again, Huggins wouldn't do the Cool Ten. Or the Linky-love. Or movie reviews. And that's all part of the PBB package, yes? So there it is. No schwanky blogging for me. (And i mean the term "schwanky" in the most respectful and jealous way.)

--I have a hip-swivelling dashboard hula girl on my desk. It was a gift from my two friends who recently married and went to Hawaii for the honeymoon. Her name, according to the package, is "Sweet Leilani." No, seriously. The reason she is not on my actual dashboard is two-fold: 1) it's an engineering impossibility, since the dash is too curvy and there's no flat section with enough head-clearance for the girlie; and 2) in order to put such an item in one's vehicle, one should already have the theme going in the vehicle, whether that theme by "hawaiian" or "kitschy knick-knacks." To have no theme, and insert a hula girl into the cold void of the themeless car, is to commit a stylistic crime, or at least some kind of feng shui violation. So on my desk she goes. She doesn't dance, being on the stationary desk. She just stands there. Smile plastered on her face, like she's so happy to be at the beach. Sorry, Leilani, you're in the cubicle jungle. Hate to break it to you.

--If you aren't a fan of James Lileks, I don't know what to do for you. But go here anyway. We get an update on the harsh realities of his daughter's ant farm, the mortality of other assorted pets, and the theology of insects. It's really funny.

--I rented Dr. Zhivago. I'd never seen it, and since I pride myself on being fairly well-versed in classic cinema, I figured I ought to give it a try. Fell asleep in the first ten minutes. But I was extremely sleepy already, and for some reason thought it would keep me awake. Wrong. So I'll give it another shot tonight, when I'll be more awake and ready to enjoy the film.

--I haven't written anything narrative in several weeks. Maybe Ginge is right--maybe TV is my alcohol. Hi, my name is Dave, and I'm addicted to television.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Honestly, I may have subconsciously been going for this...

Results for "The Classic Leading Man Test":

Jimmy Stewart
You scored 9% Tough, 14% Roguish, 52% Friendly, and 23% Charming!
You are the fun and friendly boy next door, the classic nice guy who still manages to get the girl most of the time. You're every nice girl's dreamboat, open and kind, nutty and charming, even a little mischievous at times, but always a real stand up guy. You're dependable and forthright, and women are drawn to your reliability, even as they're dazzled by your sense of adventure and fun. You try to be tough when you need to be, and will gladly stand up for any damsel in distress, but you'd rather catch a girl with a little bit of flair. Your leading ladies include Jean Arthur and Donna Reed, those sweet girl-next-door types.

Find out what kind of classic dame you'd make by taking the Classic Dames Test.

This may have been a rigged test.

No, seriously. I'll bet that somewhere deep in my mind, there was a little voice saying "What Would Jimmy Do?"

The Classic Leading Man Test is found here. (Hat-tip: Rhesa)

scrap of something unwritten 2

"What does he look like? Well, my dear James, if you must know... Wholly unremarkable, I can tell you that much. Average height, perhaps a bit taller, but certainly not stately. His dull brown hair is always mussed, as if he simply ran his fingers through it in lieu of a brush. His forehead is wide, shiny, and scarred by a blemished adolescence. His eyebrows are faint, made fainter still by a scar on one side that shines white through the thin, brown hair. His eyes are set too deeply in his head; this is probably why he wears such ridiculously large spectacles. Without them, he would take on the appearance of a chubby mole, always squinting, mouth slightly open. He imagines that his eyes are his strongest facial feature--which is pure vanity, as anyone can see that without his glasses, they are no more interesting than a soup spoon.

"His nose is bulbous, and his nostrils are asymmetrical, one thinner than the other. His skin is poor; near his ear and his mouth are large, dark moles, rather offputting in their contrast to his pale, pink-splotched face. His cheeks are fleshy and already beginning to sink into jowls, even at his young age. His lips are over-large and pink like a woman's. His teeth, while not appalling, are certainly not attractive, and just slightly crooked enough to be noticable. He wears a small beard and mustache, flaming red and unkempt. Why Fate has decided to bestow such a unique feature on such an utterly boring face, I'll never understand. But the fool has succeeded in fouling Nature's generous gift by not grooming it well. Perhaps he does this to draw attention away from the double chin that the beard barely conceals.

"In short, his appearance is wholly disappointing; at one's most generous times, one may feel that he could have been rather handsome at one point, but that such a goal was quickly abandoned. I'll not even bother to describe the rest of him, beyond a few words: large enough in belly and haunch to put the Buddha to shame; large, fumbling hands; large, clumsy feet in loud boots. A single flight of stairs steals his breath, so that his whistling gasps can be heard for several minutes, while he regains his composure. He slouches a bit, and when he walks, he always looks downward--"

"You're being rather unkind, Oscar."

"Unkind? No. Perhaps blunt, but not unkind. I'm being fair. And for his sort, 'fair' is the greatest kindness one can show to them. Only a fair assessment will help such as he see things as they are. Only 'fair' would provoke thought or response or, dare one hope, even action to change. Kindness never produced such a miracle."

"But how much can one really change of the teeth or skin or the depth of the eyes, Oscar? Surely you're putting too stringent a measure against such a man."

"Fair enough, James. The unfortunate ass cannot alter some of his appearance. ...Mayhap what annoys me most is that he hasn't even the decency to try ."

Monday, September 12, 2005

Cleaning out the Junk Drawer

[[opening music: "perseverance of the saints"--supertones]

Various and sundry:

Houston-based readers should check out the Food Bank and VolunteerHouston for service opportunities in town.

Here's a Relevant article about labelling books "Christian" or "non-Christian."

A Slate article about one of my (sentimental) favorite authors of all time.

Another Slate article, this time about the life of a freelance writer.

Joe Carter writes about blogging and the 5/150 Principle of reaching an audience.

Another great way to help those outside of this country who are still in need--the Blood:Water Mission.

...I thought I had more than that. Oh well. Posting resumes later.

[ending song: "tonight"--supertones]

PBB Cool Ten (9/11-9/17)

10. 71-72. Winners of 8 of the last 10. 5.5 games back of the Wild Card lead. Could they be making a Wild Card run? More importantly, should I allow myself to hope? (Short answer: No.)
9. This Friday is Rock-n-Bowl with the SunSco class. I shouldn't be THIS excited.
8. At the festival, I was amused by how every girl there dressed like the Olsen twins. So I tried to get Will to play my new, fun, snarky game, "Middle school, or Poor Fashion Choice?" but he said that Jesus probably wouldn't like that. Which made me feel guilty. Stupid guilt.
7. A tee-shirt for the band The Swift had a silhouette of a boy with a sombrero atop a moose and the words "!El Swift-o!." This still makes me smile.
6. "Mana, mana..."
5. As predictable and cheesy as it was, I really enjoyed "Must Love Dogs." It's good to see Cusack working.
4. The dating book was actually pretty good. I'll post a review this week.
3. I had forgotten how much I really enjoy the Supertones. In the words of the great sages and philosophers, Cinderella, "you don't know what you got till it's gone."
2. Willam is super cool. Every time I hang out with him, I walk away praising God for his friendship.
1. Be a neighbor.

BLOG! How I've missed you!

Ah! the beautiful embrace of this lovely "new post" page. The sweet familiarity of... okay, I'll stop. But believe me when I say that not being able to post substantially for a week has hurt me more than it hurts you.

So. Expect posts-a-plenty over the next five days. Including some thoughts about Katrina, 9/11, the righteously cheesy and entertaining music festival I attended this weekend, and more.

Good posts later. But quickly, first things first...

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

I'd prefer to think of myself as "slacker-lit-geek," thanks.

Outcast Genius
69 % Nerd, 60% Geek, 52% Dork
For The Record:

A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.
A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.
A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.
You scored better than half in all three, earning you the title of: Outcast Genius.

Outcast geniuses usually are bright enough to understand what society wants of them, and they just don't care! They are highly intelligent and passionate about the things they know are *truly* important in the world. Typically, this does not include sports, cars or make-up, but it can on occassion (and if it does then they know more than all of their friends combined in that subject).

Outcast geniuses can be very lonely, due to their being outcast from most normal groups and too smart for the room among many other types of dorks and geeks, but they can also be the types to eventually rule the world, ala Bill Gates, the prototypical Outcast Genius.


Monday, September 05, 2005


Just dropping a short note to let you know that it will be a light-posting week.

Things are weird here at PBB. I'm at la Casa de padres, my own version of the Western White House (but without the protesters). See, my maternal grandfather's health is failing, so my mom took a flight up to see him. If you could, send your prayers and good thoughts up for him, and for her safety as well, since she's flying back home on the anniversary of 9/11. My dad is also out of town, on business.

This means, I'll be playing Mr. Mom for the week. As such, I won't have any time to waste at work, and I certainly won't have any time afterward for you fine folks.

So, sorry kids, no Cool Ten, no Linky Love, no bad poetry. I may drop a post about my brief experience with the hurricane survivors last Saturday, but I can't guarantee to have that up at any particular point.

Basically, if you would, please pray for me. This will be an interesting week.

Friday, September 02, 2005

[what i'm feeling]

18 bullet holes in the body of a priest
They say he was eating a hot dog when the ammunition was released.
They say he was always fat and lazy but he was an awfully nice guy.
That’s just one more death to show you
you never know when you’re gonna die.
You might be facing the beast

Sometimes, God, I feel like
I’m living in a bone grinding mill
And every time I hear the sound
I can barely stand still
It’s a thing I can’t quite make out sometimes
but it seems to keep getting louder-
One more body from the valley of the dry bones
getting ground up into powder
Against Your holy will

Oh, God, it hurts so bad to love anybody down here
Why don’t You come and help me out?
Cause I can’t even see clear

The funny thing about the way a girl gets destroyed
About the way that deal goes down
Is that everybody pretty much sees it coming at the sister
From all the way across town
And she isn’t always blinded, she isn’t always far astray
She just might not be thinking, she might be having a bad day
But when you choose, you choose, and when you drown, you drown

Oh, God, it hurts so bad to love anybody down here
Why don’t You come and help me out?
Cause I can’t even see clear

Last night I dreamed that You swallowed me into Yourself
And I was floating on the sea inside
When I landed on the shore,
I saw all these people that I thought had died
I hadn’t seen some of them for ages
They had left without a single word
And when I said something to them,
not a single one of them had heard
They were all looking right through everything
like it wasn’t even there
Some were full of anger, some full of fear
And then I recognized that something very sad
But very beautiful was happening right here
They were all caught outside standing alone in a very heavy rain
And when a raindrop landed on my tongue
I didn’t need You to explain
That these were Your tears

Oh, God, it hurts so bad to love anybody down here
Why don’t You come and help me out?
Cause I can’t even see clear

Oh, God, it hurts so bad to love anybody down here
Oh, that’s right, You know so well
One thorny crown, three nails, and a spear
One thorny crown, three nails, and a spear

("18 Bulletholes" by Waterdeep)

Beat Katrina

(Required reading: The state of things in the Astrodome.)

Houston readers:

Volunteer at the Food Bank.

Help at Champion Forest.

Donate to the Star of Hope.

Donate to Red Cross.

Do something.

Outside of Houston:

Money and supplies.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Do Not Be Overcome

Chaos. Not in the faraway lands of desert patriarchs, or the steamy jungles ruled by accented druglords. Chaos in a city and state known for jazz and gumbo, riverboats and southern hospitality.

Chaos in this country. Our shining citadel of fresh-scrubbed faces and promised opportunity.

Chaos in this century, when technology is so advanced that my seven-year-old sister has a entertainment center in her bedroom, when our news coverage is up-to-the-second, and it seems like almost everyone has a cell phone with a camera on it.

Chaos. Abaddon. Destruction. The shadow of four gaunt horses, trampling.

There was another, much larger turmoil less than a year ago. It was sad--but not palpable. It was tragedy "out there." Not tragedy here.

Now we have it here. Maybe not to the same degree, but still shocking, still frightening.

We have mourned it. We are still mourning. But mourning is not enough.

Now we must face it.

Do not be overcome.

Give. Donate. Volunteer.

Do not be overcome.

Pray. For those who've escaped, for those still trapped, and for the families of the victims.

Pray also for the safety of rescuers, of volunteers, of those defying chaos to protect the weak.

Do not be overcome by evil.

But do something. Be active hands. Be sheep, not goats.

Overcome evil with good.

[If you wish to give money, I recommend WorldVision or the SBC Disaster Relief Fund.]

[More links to charities.]