I called Emma last night. 1:22:37; rock on.
She mentioned birthday plannage. I endorse July as month of parties -- though I imagine it's too early for antheia to have started planning ;)
I think I've decided on book sessions for Reunion: Kyrie & Alias Grace.
Boo, summer session Beginning Portuguese is an eight-week session: June 25–August 17. That would pretty well kibosh a two-week tour of Europe, and clearly travel trumps my whim to learn a third language.
I did laundry today, and it was fucking gorgeous out. [11:25am - 50F feels like 44F. Seemed warmer than that.]
I keep having coughing fits today, which pisses me off. (Yeah, I've consumed close to 60oz. of water so far today.)
NewRoomie asked me if I was planning to still live here next year. We agreed that, "The thought of moving makes me wanna die." Her best friend lives around the corner, but her program only lasts another year so she'll have to move in a year anyway. "Why do I even have possessions?" she asked, joking that she should just live in the library. She's not gonna be here this summer [will be working in the Sudan or Palestine], so she needs to talk to Mark about subletting.
Calling people I expect to be around and getting their voicemail makes me pouty :(
I finished all my Medieval Church reading. I'm really not retaining much of this (hi, I fail at history classes) but at least that's something.
I need to remember to move my clocks ahead tonight. [If you're gonna mess with DST, why not just get rid of it, rather than moving it a few weeks?] Tomorrow I'm going home for a 90th-birthday party for my grandma. (Which is so awkward to tell people 'cause they're all, "Oh, that's so great," and I'm like, "She's been seriously declining since she fell five years ago, and I think it would be a blessing for all involved if she had died." Hi, I'm an impatient pro-death bitch.)
Unrelatedly, I'm still not sure what I think about intercessory prayer, which is frustrating when praying is the only thing I can do. I like the idea of God knowing better than any of us, but I also like the idea that having people thinking about you actually does something (though if I took that idea to its logical conclusion I would have to feel bad about thinking ill about people, and it would add some serious ethical problems to fantasy life -- yes, I'm very aware that I wanna have it both ways when it comes to how much thoughts "count"). I tend to just pray that the person(s) in question will feel God's presence, but there are times when things are clearly Broken and I want to pray that they get fixed.
[I should probably reread The Celtic Way of Prayer.]
I find myself wondering more and more recently how I reconcile the idea of all-loving God with, well, evidence to the contrary.
On Thursday we did the Alpha chapter on suffering, and their stance is that all suffering is a result of sin (direct: your own or someone else's, or indirect: a result of living in a fallen world) though they do caution against focusing too much on playing the blame game. I have issues with the idea of a fallen world (along with the concept of us all being born sinners) and don't have a definite stance on it yet. However, the understanding that makes sense to me is that we live in a world that has been shaped by the sins/mistakes of all of human history that came before us. I dislike the idea that Adam&Eve's initial sin shifted the cosmos such that the entire world was then "fallen" (though Mark Twain's strawberry-eating tigers... oh The Diaries of Adam & Eve how I love thee). Anyway, point being that there are bad things which happen which one can't manage to blame on anybody's sins: I'm thinking of mental illness. [The SVU ep with the sociopathic child also really brought this into question for me, with Huang's "You can't grow a conscience," but I feel uncomfortable talking about that in the same breath as treatable mental illnesses.] Why does God make people broken? [And okay, since mental illness doesn't manifest at birth, one could argue environmental factors, but there's still the fact that certain people's brains react in ways that most people's brains don't, so that doesn't entirely hold up for me.] Yeah, you can argue redemptive suffering, but for all that I'm an ends-justify-means kind of person, the idea of redemptive suffering really rubs me the wrong way. The Alpha material had some really nice metaphors for that refining/perfecting kind of suffering, but reflecting on that now I can't help thinking, "So does that mean that God isn't all that interested in me, since He hasn't afflicted me?" Something's not right there.
I was reading the current bathroom book the other day, and the author talks about how belief in Christ guarantees us eternal salvation but God wants to pour blessings upon us in this life as well. I like this idea. However she talks about belief/faith being key in getting those earthly blessings, and I haven't read very far so I don't know how (if) she deals with the issue of "when bad things happen to good people" [when "good" matches her criteria] but it rubs me the wrong way. I mean, I get the idea that we can be wandering in the wilderness because we refuse to listen, because we have made ourselves deaf and blind (cf. the Dwarfs at the end of The Last Battle, though of course that discomfited me), but the idea that you've brought your misfortune on yourself really rubs me the wrong way.
[I'm still working on tagging, and it's tempting to be snarky and tag this "myth of a merciful god."]