Archive for June, 2003

this & that

Thursday, June 26th, 2003

My life has consisted mostly of organizing the apartment and making some halfhearted efforts at studying for exams lately. As Andy reported, we had an exceptionally fun weekend last weekend though. We had a surprise wedding shower with lots of good food and talk with friends at Brian and Rachel’s beautiful new house. We had lots of fun with friends and Moby the dog, and we even have some Polaroids of the event to enjoy for years to come. Jay’s home-brewed beer was quite good in my opinion, though my beer-drinking experience is quite limited.
We also saw the Matrix on Friday (the first time I’ve seen it), which was good, but some of the elements were just too predictable, and we saw a few of the new special effects a few too many times. Also, it was confusing–the philosophical background to the story was explained in a handful of long speeches which I didn’t really grasp. The first hour of the movie didn’t do anything for me at all, but it improved a lot toward the end, and I’m looking forward to seeing what they do in the next movie.
This weekend we are headed to Nebraska for my good friend Jen’s wedding. I talked to her a couple of days ago, and she’s a lot calmer and more organized than I was the week before our wedding.
I was listening to some conservative radio guy this morning (I can’t remember his name), and he maintained that if Jesus were here today he would be a conservative Republican. Of course claiming God for any political movement sounds a little silly, but this got me to thinking. One would obviously want to belong to God’s party, if there was one; but I think that if Jesus were here today, he wouldn’t be aligned with any political party or group–he would say and do things that would irk and trouble just about everyone. (That’s a problem I have with the whole “WWJD” movement–it relies on one’s ability to know what Jesus would do, which isn’t always clear). Jesus and the apostles don’t strike me as very political. They reached out to individual people and didn’t expend much energy on reforming the political power structure of the time. In fact, in some cases their approach to Rome was apathetic to the point that modern sensibilities are offended: Jesus’ judgement to “render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s,” Paul’s apparent condoning of slavery, or the command to obey whatever monarch is in power because his (pronoun appropriate for the time period) power is derived from God. This has sometimes made me wonder about political activism on both sides of the fence: there are no clear Biblical precepts for how to participate in a government such as ours.
It’s my belief that how individuals conduct their own lives is more important than what type of political system we have. As long as humans are imperfect, any political system will be corrupt and some people will suffer under it. If people were kind, compassionate, and uncorruptable by power or wealth; it wouldn’t matter what kind of government we had–communism, democracy, or monarchy. Since people aren’t, I believe that our system is better than any other at preventing such abuses, but no system of human government will ever be able to solve all human problems–which is why I don’t identify myself as a liberal, because I think that liberals expect government to do things that government can’t do. On the other hand, though most people would probably consider me to be pretty conservative; I hesitate to label myself as a conservative either, since I think the government definitely has a role in protecting the environment and regulating business practices, since history has pretty much proven that there are plenty of people who would abuse their freedom from regulation in these areas.
I think that we really like to see God as being like ourselves. The radio guy saw Jesus as being like him; and equally I am making him out to be like me–a registered independent who believes that the key to positive change is in the way individuals conduct their lives rather than through the actions of government. It’s interesting to see the way we construct God in our own image; and leads one to take anybody’s claim that God is on his/her side–even one’s own–with a grain of salt.

we’re married!

Monday, June 9th, 2003

We’re back home and working on settling down to real life. The wedding was perfect, thanks to our families and wedding parties. Soon I’ll write more about it, but now suffice to say that it was a beautiful day–I got to marry my best friend and love of my life, and all day we were surrounded by our family and friends. It was great to see people that we don’t get to see very often–people need to keep getting married so that we can all get together once in a while!
The day started off on a rather silly note. I couldn’t sleep the night before the wedding, and at about six a.m. I started writing out a detailed list of instructions complete with a diagram of the amphitheater indicating where the decorations should go. After having handed over my crazy scrawlings to my amazing bridesmaids, however, our wedding party and families took over and everything fell into place. Andy and I met for a few minutes before pictures, which was very cool. We did the pictures before the ceremony which was really nice, because that was the last item of work to take care of (except the cleanup after it was all over–thanks guys), after that we could relax and enjoy the proceedings. The ceremony went perfectly, better than I could have envisioned it, and even the Nebraska weather cooperated–the day before it was 90 degrees and the day after it rained, but the day of the wedding was sunny, in the 70s, and breezy. The reception was lots of fun. Somehow, somebody with hitherto unsuspected magical powers apparently spirited the decorations and PA system from the amphitheater to Mallet Lodge while I was up front getting hugged by dozens of people. The food was good, and nobody seemed to be too scared by our choice of buffalo as one of the lunch options. We even got to eat at our own wedding! I think the cake was good too, though I only got the one little bit. We decided to serve the cake ourselves so we could greet everyone again, and that turned out to be a lot of fun though the cake pieces we produced were not exactly uniform. Oh well.
Our honeymoon in Colorado was lovely. We stayed in a cabin between Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. We went for a few short hikes around the park, drove up Trail Ridge Road, and experienced lots of interesting weather which included sun, rain, and snow. Fall River ran right behind our cabin, and elk appeared several times grazing and napping on our lawn. It’s great to be in our own apartment now, and we are bracing ourselves for post-wedding tasks-thank-yous, photo-related decisions, and so forth.