Wednesday, February 28, 2007

And I ain't got nothing but love for you now. (UPDATED'D)

The reactions/responses to the Reader Survey:

--You know, I've never seen the Godspell movie all the way through. Hmm... Netflix it is!
--I love Garrison Keillor, but haven't read that one yet.
--Song is noted.

1. Well, as much as my work ethic says otherwise, I would like to finish a book in the next four years. Either the Bible Redux project or Taylor House. I would also like to own my own home, I think, but this is still something I'm chewing on. And I would like to make serious progress toward a healthy and more balanced lifestyle.
2. Will I finish Taylor House? Yes. Will I post it all online? Probably not. At this point, I'm looking at some major revisions of the first ten chapters. I'm gonna have to break from the King model of organic progress and outline the story's basic structure. Also, I have to figure out exactly what kind of book it is.
3. Weekend was good. Sunday School event in which people showed up, which is always a good thing. Also had a SunSco teachers meeting, and the new pastor spoke for a while. He's a decent guy. He likes changing things in the church, which is upseting a few folks (my parents included), but I believe his heart's in the right place.

--"Ghost World" was good. Saw it in college.
--I've heard of "Black Like Me." I think I need to read that one.
--You and Eisley, I swear. ;- )

1. Anywhere in the world? Wow. It's funny. I was thinking about this a while back, and realized that I'm pretty happy where I am. Granted, it's hot as heck in the summer, so that's not fun. But I like Houston. How sick is that. Chicago's pretty rad, too, though I didn't really soak up enough of the city to have a solid opinion. And I like Kansas City. Maybe I need to expand my horizons before answering this one again.
2. You know, I racked my brain to try and remember a teacher-crush, and I have to admit, I never did. All my teachers were old and/or unattractive, all the way through my schooling.
3. This one's tough. I love his cover of "Hurt." Deeply love it. And I love some songs from his Legend (v.2) album that I was given recently like "Unchained" and "I Hung My Head." But honestly, right now my favorite Cash track is "God's Gonna Cut You Down." It's just got this sharp energy to it, the ringing of a chain gang's hammers.

--Renting The Departed this weekend, I think. That or The Pick of Destiny. Depends on my mood.
--Of Mice and Men is great. "Tell me about the rabbits again." Just kills me.
--I heard an AFI track recently that I liked, but it wasn't that one.

1. My next visit may be this summer, if I'm gonna do that rock festival in Sherman. Otherwise, it may not be until next NYE.
2. Dude, I'm there every year you'll invite me.
3. Study, dude. I'm goofing off online enough for both of us.

--Did I tell you I was almost on the high school coaching staff when I taught a few years back?
--Hank Williams and Skynyrd. I expected no less.

--I think I remember Jeremiah Johnson. Had a beard, right?
--You know, I'm really not a Hemingway fan. I should probably give him another shot, but Old Man and the Sea and In Love and War were quite enough for me for a while.
--"Oh, black water, keep on rollin, Mississippi moon won't you keep on shinin' on ME...." Good stuff.

1. Just one? That's sick, man. Making me choose. Okay, I'll give you two. One with sentimental value, and one that is just well written.
First, from "Swingers": "She won't call because you left. She's got her own life to deal with and that's in New York. She's a sweet girl and I love her to pieces, but **** her, man. You got to get on with your life. You've got to let go of the past, Mikey, and when you do, the future is beautiful."
Second, from a great little film called "Brick": "Throw one at me if you want, hash head. I've got all five senses and I slept last night, that puts me six up on the lot of you."
2. Okay, I think this is where my geekiness is exposed. I want to learn Latin. No, really.
3. If I had like three minutes and I'm at home, I'd grab my wallet/keys/phone, a pair of jeans and a shirt, my Bible, several big books, and my black hoodie. If Jack Bauer busts through the door and says, "There's no time!" I'd grab whatever reading materials are nearby, and my w/k/p.

--I've been meaning to see "Casino Royale." I've heard good things.
--Never read "White Oleander." You know, I tried opening up my reading to more women-centric books, but the first one I read was "She's Come Undone" (technically written by a man, but that's not the point), which I despised. So maybe WO will be my next effort to read more women.
--I love Regina, but haven't heard this track yet. Will look for it.

1. That's a tough one. I had a really good college experience, all told. Some of my favorites: my largest theatrical role, supporting actor in a one-act play; pledging College Players; front row to see Third Day in Raley Chapel; my first kiss; filming my own "OBU experience" video (which I still have); Midnight Breakfast during Finals Week; hearing Marty sing "Round Here" at Oregano's.
2. It really depends on my mood. Most days, I have the morning news playing in the background, but when music is needed, I'll pop in something peppy. Nothing too loud (apartment life, what can I say), but upbeat. Beatles. Newsboys. Barenaked Ladies. TobyMac. It also depends on what artist/album I'm jonesing for at that particular time.
3. It's not "bad" if the girl makes the first move, I don't think. But speaking as a guy who doesn't like to stick his neck out, it's better if the guy does it. Passivity is not a good trait in guys, especially when it comes to dating. However, it's cool if the girl were to lay down some obvious hints (really obvious, please, ladies--we ARE that clueless), and then the guy gets a clue and steps up. I don't know. I'm traditional in that sense.

--"Casablanca" is easily the best movie ever made (and I loved Citizen Kane). What so many people forget is that the dialogue is so funny.
--I've been thinking about revisiting some classics like "Lord of the Flies." The last time I read it was in college, when I did a political analysis of it for Dr. Litherland's government class.
--"They Might Be Giants." Perfect. I'll seek this one out.

1. Good question! Here's the dilly-o: In terms of purely shallow, surface comparison, it'd be ScarlettJo in less than a heartbeat. I prefer curvy women. But then again, I have little to nothing in common with her in terms of ideology, philosophy, and personal beliefs. So, to crib the old saying, where would we build our nest? But since I don't know much about Keira's personality and so forth, I'll stick with Scarlett and just use earplugs.
2. During a week like this one, I would totally pick nap. I actually haven't been playing video games very often at all, in the past month. That will probably change in the next few weeks, as baseball starts back up. I'll dust off the ol' MLB06 and see if at least ONE Cubs team can have a winning season.
3. London. Better things to do. Plus, the language thing. I like Rome quite a bit, and the historical spots around the city are rad. But I'd die in a traffic accident within a week there. And honestly, I don't mind rain, and like overcast days, so London would be a fit for me. I don't know if I'd live there forever (socialized medicine SUCKS), but I would love to visit again.

--I read the book "Children of Men," which was wonderful. I've heard that the storyline was changed vastly for the film, so I'm actually a little hesitant to see it. But I heard it was good.
--Looks like an interesting read.
--Will check it out.

1. Blog motivation? Narcissism. Okay, maybe not TOTALLY, but at least partly. No, the thing is, I need to communicate to somebody. As it happens, I love writing, and every once in a while I write something worth reading. But really, what blogging is for me is a way to connect with people. Those comments are so important to me. It's pathetic, but it's a form of validation for me. I have a need to be listened to, to feel that someone cares about what I think. Some people blog privately, as a way of just getting their thoughts out. That's not me at all. If you all stopped reading, I would probably stop blogging. So, in other words, it's your fault for being so nice; you're only encouraging me.
2. I suppose. Here, I'll hit the 2007 highlights for you: Reading List--Slackie Awards--"I hate that I care about stupid things so much"--Biggest Loser audition--NewGirl pops up again (and just got married! boo!)--iPod shuffleblogging--"Exxon profits are okay by me"--Killer Shrew!--mental weeds--Jack Bauer saved the day, but Aquaman died--an actually "happy" Valentine's--liveblogging "November Rain"--Ash Wednesday--a brief comeback for EmoDave--Reader Quiz!
3. I don't know if I've had a "near death experience," but I've had a couple of close calls in the car that gave me a scare. One time was on the way home from Shawnee to Houston, I was going to fast as I approached the exit lane to get onto 35 South. The lane was only about 14 feet anyway, but I was going too fast, and went up and over the curb between the mainlanes and the turnoff. Thankfully, instead of the normal drop-off that most highways have, there was a gently declining slope of grass, and I rolled to a stop in this grassy triangle between the off-ramp, the main lanes, and the upcoming on-ramp. Got my attention, and elicited a whispered prayer of thanks.

Chris Jones:
--You and Wilco are forever entwined in my head.

1. During my junior year, I became very cynical about religious people. I never doubted the faith of my youth, but I hated church people. And my understanding of the nature of God became something more like that of Zeus. I saw God as an arbitrary deity who didn't care about us as much as we thought, and didn't mind screwing us over once in a while. In my mind, He became peevish and unpredictable. And I hated serving a god like that. Finally, I came to the point where I couldn't deal with that view of God anymore; I was just too friggin depressed. But it was at that point that the light clicked on, and I realized that it was okay not to understand God completely, and that things seemed contradictory only because my view of Him was/is an incomplete and limited one. He showed me that if I sought Him more in Scripture, my understanding of Him would improve--not fully, but a little more. And I also learned that I had to stop hating church people, because I'm just as screwed up as they are, and they need love like I do. And now, I'm a Sunday School teacher. Go figure.
2. No. Mind-altering substances are a no-go. I don't like not feeling in control of myself. That's why I don't drink, either (that, and I don't like the taste). Plus, I think there is a Biblical principle of vigilance and self-control. I have an addictive personality, and that's something I'd have to watch.
3. "Oh, Great Lakes states! Would that I could gather you under my wings, as a mother hen gathers her chicks, but you were unwilling!" My baseball love and family are wrapped around Lake Michigan, but my life is here in the southland. I wouldn't enlist or serve in the military, but I would defend my home here, if I had to. Of course, when the first bombs dropped, I'd probably be rounded up as a sympathizer.

--I hope to rent "Stranger than Fiction" soon.
--I read "Me Talk Pretty One Day" in college, but the others sound cool.
--If I had access to MySpace (darn work restrictions!), i would.

1. If I could change, I would learn to be more responsible and efficient. I waste time, I get distracted (I should be working right now, in fact), and I sometimes let people down. But I want to be someone who's on time, has their act together, and can be counted on. I want to be someone who's admirable and trustworthy.
2. a)I'm a decent writer; b)I have a nice voice; c)I have a good head for trivia, though something simple like remembering names and faces is completely impossible for me.
3. I miss having a large group of friends so close by, and so easily finding community. I miss having a clear schedule and feeling like I'm moving toward something. I miss not having to worry about bills or cooking for myself or moving up the professional "totem pole." BUT I don't miss the last two weeks of every semester, when I tried to catch up all that I was behind in and invariably ended up with pneumonia (and once, a visit to the emergency room). I don't miss making almost no money working that crappy cafeteria job, and coming home smelling like garbage every night. And I don't miss hearing about freaking OU football ALL the TIME.

--I love Eggers, and want to read that one.
--Also noted.

1) The quote really resonated with me. I'm terribly indecisive and afraid of change. I have all sorts of ideas and plans and schemes that keep getting revised and revamped and abandoned. Basically, I'm a talker who can't back it up with action. I'm a dreamer who can't come through with results. I love "Prufrock," and I related to those two middle lines especially. I've thought about changing it--just recently, actually. But somehow, I can't bring myself to do it.
2) I don't think angst and hope are mutually exclusive properties, but I think that one transitions into the other. From angst, there are really two directions you can go: hope, or resignation and fatalism. I have times of angst and insecurity, but the thing is, I have to choose hope. And then I'm okay again.
3) I started this blog in September of 2002. My then-girlfriend was a blogger, and I thought it was a neat thing and wanted to give it a shot. At that time, I was a teaching high-school English at a private Christian school. Well, the teaching job ended after four months, but I kept the blog name. Over a year and a half ago, I was asked to lead a single 20's Bible study at church, so I'm again a "teacher" of sorts. The name stuck. For a while, I toyed with the idea of changing my web handle to "SlackerLitGeek," but in the end, I was comfortable with TeacherDave, and thus remained so.


Sarah: I can always count on you to challenge me.
--I haven't seen "An Inconvenient Truth," but I have to admit I'm curious. I may just check that out.
--"Tortilla Curtain" noted. I'll keep an eye out.
--"That's why they call it the blues..." Yeah, that's a good track.

1. This is actually a tough question. While lions are generally regarded for their sharp teeth and ferocity, they are (under all the hair and noise) big cats. As in "fraidy cat." There's no such thing as a "fraidy bear." That's just silly. No, a bear might not have all the speed and dental hardware that the lion does, but brute strength and relentless agression will win out, and the lion would limp away as quickly as it could. Decision: Bear.

2. Interesting question, and I want to answer it as best as I can. Between "Divine human" and "human who was divine," what I think you mean is, which came first, the humanity or the divinity? (If that's not your question, ask me again in the comments.) I believe that Jesus--the person, the essence, the soul, the actual reality--was first and always divine. I believe that he "put on" humanity, taking on its nature with some of its limitations and confinements. Some faiths and understandings think that Jesus was "made divine" or was imbued at some point (like the Baptism) with the Spirit of God. My (admittedly incomplete) interpretation of Scripture was that from conception, the baby growing in Mary's womb was divine. Of course, there is a question of whether or not he was all-powerful, omniscient, etc. as a boy. I don't know. Scripture doesn't say, besides the picture of him speaking with the teachers at the temple. But yes, He was God, who walked among us as a man. Fully God, but fully human, experiencing life as we do, yet without sin. That was the point. So He could be our High Priest and our Sacrifice at the same time.

3. Wow. That's a killer. GI problems are the worst. I first thought "vomit" since it's contained over a short period of time, but then you deal with all sorts of heartburn and acidity and stuff. Really, they're both awful, and I don't want to decide anymore. Decision: PUSH.

--Dude, I loved "Sidekicks." I have some allergy-related asthma problems, so I related to the kid. Plus, at that point (pre-Jack-Bauer), Chuck Norris was the coolest.
--Never heard of the book or music, but I trust your taste on both. So I'll check 'em out.

1. I wish I were more "Lit"erary, but truth be told, most days I play "slacker" more than anything else (especially when it comes to writing). On the upside, that's how I blog so much.

2. Getting an English degree is great, because it exposes you to all kinds of writing styles and subjects. Being exposed to so many ideas really helps you think long and hard about what you believe and live out. You start looking deeper. You don't see the world as a big table of cost vs. profit. You dream more. You aspire. My favorite professor had a pin she wore that said, "Art Saves Lives." That kind of faith, you can't find in other (non-medical) disciplines. The belief that what I'm creating or consuming or discussing will outlast a fiscal year, and that it could change someone's life. (Okay, maybe the religion kids feel that way too. And the Ed majors. Whatever, it was a good line.)

3. No, napping is WHAT Al's presentation is for. (Kidding!) Yes, I read the books you gave me. Thanks very mucho.

Will Sr.
--No recommendations? Spoil-sport!

1. Good question! Well, right now, my favorite passage of Scripture (and one I quote from almost weekly in class) is II Corinthians 5:14-20. Right now, my focus (when I'm keeping in step with the Spirit) is all about WHY we're here and WHAT we're supposed to be doing. This passage lays it plain: our job as Christ-followers is to bear the message of spiritual transformation and reconciliation with God. It's just so energizing for me to read this passage; this transformation happened in me, so that I could go find other people who need transformation and tell them about it. That it's as if God Himself were making his appeal through me, when I'm obedient in communicating His truth. And the last verse--if I had to pick a "life-verse" at this point, this could be it. Christ became our sin offering, and gave us His own righteousness, to put us in right standing with the Father. I can't think of a truth that more powerfully impacts the life of the believer than that.

2. Totally not cool. You don't slag on your teammates. That's dishonorable, and if I were a professional athlete, I would hope I'd never be guilty of that. You do your best, you work with your teammate if you can, but you don't snipe him just to get your name in the paper. That kind of behavior is selfish, thoughtless, and unprofessional.

3. You betcha. Call me up.


Thank you to everyone who participated. Hope this wasn't too boring for you.

If you didn't get a chance to take part, drop me some questions and recommendations in the comments, and I'll respond.

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