June 7th, 2008

Aslan

[CAUMC] Luke 7:11-17, Raising the Widow's Son [2008-06-05]

alt-tag: welfare and zombies

The commentary talked a lot about the parallels to an Elijah story (1 Kings 17:10, 17-24), but that wasn't particularly fruitful for discussion. Neither were the Reflections. It was just me, Meredith (leading), and Mike present that night, and we spent a bit of time just going, "Uh..."

In rereading the passage, I noticed the bit: "The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. Fear seized all of them, and they glorified God." I talked about how current-day Christians often tend to domesticate God, imaging God the way we want, and how God is so much greater than that. I also pointed out how their reaction to the fear was to glorify God... that it wasn't like they were afraid that Jesus was empowered by the devil or anything, but because God's power is so much greater than ours, God is justifiably scary.

Meredith referenced the hymn "Our God Is An Awesome God."

Mike commented that he doesn't think of God as like that, as scary because of His power, and I said that I'm definitely not big on God as a big scary punisher in the sky, but usually when I'm talking about God being so much greater than what we can think of, I'm thinking about things like trying to live our lives as God wants us to and not necessarily as we would prefer and I don't think it would be a huge stretch to connect that to the text... to talk about how opening up oneself to what God wants us to do (cf. discussion a couple weeks ago about [being willing to] give up all of one's possessions -- the rich young man who went away unhappy) is frightening.

This of course begs the question of how one discerns God's Will (something we frequently come back to in our discussions).

The Commentary and Reflections both mention how Jesus "had compassion for" the widow. We talked about compassion and giving and how some people will take advantage of your generosity and how that's compounded when it's government programs because then people feel like it's not even like, "I gave money to this person and they abused that generosity," but it's "The government took my money without my consent [taxes] and gave it to these no-good people whom if I were in charge I would have known better than do do so." I said that while I absolutely think people should be thoughtful in their giving, thinking about what causes are important to them and how their money can be put to the best use, I think there's a Scriptural grounding for generous giving, giving without expectation of return ("from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again." -Luke 6:29b-30). In writing this up I realized that part of what I'd been trying to think of was stuff like the woman who anoints Jesus with expensive perfume... the adjective I'm trying to think of escapes me... something like "lavish." (Note to self: research project: commandments to generosity in the Bible.)

***

Mike Affirmed that I'm "consistent." \o/
pride

And tomorrow kicks of Pride Week with the ecumenical pride (with bonus eco-justice?) service at CWM.

[CWM] Mark M.'s schedule of queer educational film goes as follows: Collapse )

As we began discussing trans films, I thought about how we don't really deal with race. (Ari, this was even before I saw your CoC entry.)  I thought of black./womyn.:conversations with lesbians of African descent from this year's MFA festival, but other than that I can't think of anything that specifically deals with the intersection of race and sexuality (or anything that deals with intersections of race and Christianity), nor do I really know how to go about looking for such films/documentaries.

Speaking of lists of queer films... silviakundera posted: "This is an collection of mini-summaries of various gay flicks I have seen at one point or another. Some may be more of a vague memory, others are fresh. Each movie will be clearly marked as having a happily-ever-after ending or not. And I am certainly not promising that all films listed are GOOD films. Just gay ones."

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Thursday night my mom e-mailed me:
Subject: I spend too much time in your head space

I saw this headline on Yahoo:
"Gates ousts Air Force leaders in historic shake-up"
which I read as
"Gates outs Air Force leaders in historic shake-up".

I was confused until I realized my error.
:)
***
i fight fire with words

LJ v. blogging

My dad e-mailed me tonight:
Subject: As you have no doubt guessed,

I still don't have a livejournal.

I was thinking about it today as I was biking (NHS graduation tomorrow) and I realized that for some reason I am bothered by the following fact:  I do a lot of web reading.  I am pretty certain that I have been to at least a thousand different blogs.  But aside from places I've gone from your livejournal, I think I've only been to one lj.  That's like flipping a coin a thousand times and getting only one head.  Well, okay not really but you get the idea.  Why do I never see ljs?  Is it because I see mostly "idea" blogs and ljs are "what I did today" blogs?  Are lj idea blogs "Bush lied, people died" while I'm "Bush lied, and so do Obama, and Clinton, and ..."?  Does the lj community somehow seal itself off from the part of the web I read?  Is it hard to link to ljs so people I read don't?  Just what is the reason?  Any ideas?
I replied off-the-cuff:
I think while LJers often read blogs, bloggers are less likely to read LJs.  I feel like there's a clearer network of blogs (lots of blogs have blogrolls on the side, and if you read a blog regularly you get a feel for the people they link to/cite a lot), plus even LJers who do a lot of "idea blogging" ALSO do a lot of "what I did today" blogging, so the content-to-noise ratio may make more idea-heavy bloggers feel like it's not worth tracking those LJs.  It's an interesting question, though.  Some LJs don't allow anonymous commenting (i.e., commenting by people not logged in to an LJ account), but LJ now does support OpenID (http://www.livejournal.com/openid/) so that should lessen that problem.
I'm now really interested in this question.  Anyone have any thoughts?
professional me, self

I'm somewhat surprised my mother hasn't e-mailed me pining for updates.

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***

I feel like I've been on summer vacation since Wednesday.

Friday was the now traditional "Light Lunch" followed by an afternoon off.  Peter and Greg walked over to lunch with us.  I picked up a small whoopie pie for dessert, and Nicki was asking me what the filling was, like was it flavored, and I was like, "Um, it's a whoopie pie... it's just cream."  Katie reminded me that we'd had a conversation before about how whoopie pies are a New England thing.  (Greg didn't know what they were, but we're used to that 'cause he spent a good chunk of time in Israel.)

Cate joined later, and some I ended up telling her about due South fandom.  I don't think I'd really realized before that CKR was in due South and that's where everyone initially knows him from.  (Yes, apparently I think of The Canadian Actor Mafia as its own fandom.)  I've never seen due South, but I was recalling that I did sporadically watch some tv show with Mounties when I was younger, and really, how many tv shows about Mounties aired on broadcast American tv in the 1990s?  Dad, do you remember anything about this?

Speaking of fandoms I'm not in...
via sharpest_rose: Steph in Africa (on scans_daily)

Anyway, we hung out for a couple hours and then went our separate ways.  I did a couple errands -- though not as many as I should have.  We reconvened for dinner at CPK at the Pru.  Cate was running late, but we still had our food (I got the mushroom pizza.) with enough time to eat and not feel rushed.  (We ended up getting to Park St. like right at 7:30 -- minor T delays was something of a theme with me that afternoon -- but ASP never starts on time, so we were okay.)

That morning, I bumped into Layna on my way to the T and Allie at the T, and on the Green Line to Prudential I saw Meredith.

***

ASP's 4th season wrapped up with King John, which neither Cate nor I had ever seen/read before.  (And I didn't look at the synposis, opting to just go with the flow of the play)

Turns out it was really good.  Both the play and the production.  It was very modern -- people in suits, drinking martinis, brandishing pistols, etc. -- and that made SO MUCH SENSE.  And the play itself is interesting and engaging (and okay there were a few bits I could have done without, but that's usually true of me and lots of the comedic bits Shakespeare sticks in the histories).  I told Cate afterward that it was probably my favorite of the season, definitely made me excited about giving them money for my subscription for next year.  She commented that the other productions this year had schticks, like the all-female Macbeth, the Henry V with only five actors, and she was like, "See, when you have a multi-gender cast of more than half a dozen, you can do great things."  I commented that while this one also had a "schtick" (the contemporary, shades of mafioso, setting) it was more of a theme -- we agreed that this was like Titus, which was the play we saw last season and which was also awesome.  I also said that they didn't overdo it, which she agreed, and she commented that ironically, she thought if they'd done more with the schtick in their production of Tempest this season it might well have worked a lot better for her.

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***

As I expected, I had mixed feelings about the apartment I looked at this morning.  It's a two-level two-bedroom condo.  The woman living there is looking for someone quiet, and part of me is like, "I'm never home, and when I am I'm mostly just playing on the internet," but part of me worries that I would be on edge, worrying.  The two bedrooms abut each other, and she mentioned that for example, "If I make a late-night phone call I go downstairs" (the upper level is the two bedrooms and a full bath, the lower level is a living room and eat-in kitchen and half-bath) and yeah, that kind of quiet consideration feels maybe excessive.

It's got a nice basement I could use to store some of my boxes (though yes I know I should purge before I move) plus washer-dryer.  She has RCN wireless internet; I would need wired Internet and would like cable tv.  The bedroom is good-sized (11x14... my current one is about 11x11) and with a good-sized closet.

There's a nice little playground across the street, including checkerboard tables with attached seats.  It's something like a 15-minute walk to Harvard Square, and I could pick up the 86 (direct to my campus) like five minutes from the house.  It's near a Market Basket, plus the FoodMaster by Inman and the Union Square Farmer's Market and it's a 5-10min. walk to the 87 to Porter (Shaw's).

She rents from the absentee landlords (they're in California, but apparently there's a local repairperson who's good... and the condo was built in the 1980s and is in good shape) and was talking about a month-to-month lease, which makes me nervous, though it also provides flexibility should I decide it wasn't working out and wanted to move (and I do trust that if she decided to move -- she's been flirting with the idea of buying a place herself, but doesn't think that'll happen any time soon -- she would give me plenty of notice).

I'm not under pressure to decide SOON, which I appreciate.

Part of me feels like I should just wait until July, when the bulk of the August 1 openings will be posted.  And part of me thinks I should actually check out July 1 openings 'cause if there's something that's a great fit then it would be worth double-paying rent for a month.

***

I went to Gusti's graduation party (at the Nave Gallery at CHPC).  The official start time was 4:30, so I left my house at 4:30.  (I live about a five-minute walk away.)  It was really nice that so many of Gusti's communities were there (people from her neighborhood, people from CHPC, people from school -- including her undergrad [she just graduated from HDS]).  I actually chatted with people I didn't already know.  *proud of me*

SarahD. was talking about Adam Sandler's new movie (the Zohan one), which apparently includes Israel-Palestine issues.  I now feel like I need to see this movie.  (She also mentioned how she walked out of Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11.  I was so pleased.)

***

I was chatting with mjules after I got home, and it's good to have someone who knows what you're talking about when you wtf at "The Devil Is Bad" by the W's (Track 8 on Disc 1 of WOW 1999 The Year's Top Christian Artists and Songs).

Track 12 is the Supertones' "Little Man," which brought me back to the Supertones concert Tim took us to back when I was in high school, which I had totally forgotten about until now.

***

I was okay in the heat today, and my apartment still feels decent.  I am very pleased by this.  (Though I expect it will get worse as the days continue to high near 90F and it only cools off to like 70F overnight.)