Archive for May, 2004

walk to waco

Wednesday, May 26th, 2004

The title is kind of a stretch–was trying to think of a title relating to travel which started with a W, and this was the first thing I thought of. I believe that phrase is contained in the movie The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly which I think I saw once, but all I remember is a gallows sitting in the middle of a parched desert. Very surreal. And I might be totally making that up since I can’t find confirmation anywhere. But I always think this phrase has something to do with It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, maybe because of the big W contained in that movie. But enough about W.
Had planned to talk about my upcoming trip, but first another movie digression. I watched Adam’s Rib last night, and enjoyed it. I thought the couple’s relationship and the problems they experienced were quite believable. Couple of time-period related things: At the beginning of the movie, when various female characters were applauding a woman’s decision to shoot her unfaithful husband, I kept pausing the movie to tell Andy “See, women are very irrational and emotional, and believe that lashing out violently is an appropriate response.” Also, it seems that hitting one’s wife wasn’t illegal in 1949. Icky.
Okay, back to the impending journey. There’s really nothing to say about a trip that hasn’t happened yet, is there, since by definition nothing has happened yet. So scratch that. Except one interesting thing I’ve noted is that people start asking you if you’re packed yet way early. If I packed that long before time to go, I’d just have to unpack everything again so I can use it. So no, I’m not packed yet.

weekend weirdness

Monday, May 24th, 2004

How many consecutive posts can I have with W as the initial letter?
Remember Amy? On Saturday, I got a call from Amy herself. It seems that her old phone number, now ours, had come out in some directory connected to a business she used to run. She wanted to know if we could give people trying to contact her her new phone number. A little weird, but I agreed, and wrote her number down on a small scrap of paper like I do with all addresses, phone numbers, and other such info, which soon disappear into some paper-scrap oblivion.
I sometimes learn interesting things from the Sunday Grand Rapids Press. This weekend, I learned that the John Birch Society is still in existence. I was previously familiar with this society only from Bob Dylan’s eponymous Paranoid Blues. They think that Rush is too liberal, and they don’t regard the Michigan Militia as militaristic (an unmilitaristic militia? Maybe it’s just a bridge club with a colorful name?). The accompanying picture includes a sign reading “Get US out! of the United Nations.” Andy and I have been driving past a sign like that on the way to Chicago for the last several years, but in the past year it’s changed from a homemade one to a snazzy new one like the one in this picture–maybe the JBS is gaining influence?


Thursday, May 20th, 2004

Ever since I have become a wife, the issue of the proper role of Christian women has been intruding upon my consciousness in a new way. For single women, there doesn’t seem to be much of an issue. Even if the idea of the submission of wives to husbands is still very much alive, the idea that fathers should have veto power over their adult daughters (Numbers 30: 3-5) seems to have died out.
The Bible actually has quite a bit to say about wives. Lots of Christian commentary on these passages makes the correct observation that our current “feminist” (I personally don’t believe that the current formulation of “feminism” actually is) culture rejects the concept of different gender roles, much more a gender hierarchy, which seems to be implied in the Bible. But I think it’s important to remember that previous eras had their own cultural assumptions that colored the way they interpreted these passages, and there’s no reason to think those cultural prejudices are any more correct than ours. Following are some of my musings about the relevant passages, in no way intended to be authoritative, and no doubt influenced by my own culture background and personal biases.


What I did on my summer vacation

Wednesday, May 19th, 2004

We are back from vacation. It was fun. We drove across the I-states (Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa), and visited the Amana Colonies and Platte River State Park where we got married last year. We also ate a lot of food. More below.


Dumb Joke of the Day

Tuesday, May 11th, 2004

What did the Buddhist Monk say to the hot dog vendor?


news eh?

Monday, May 10th, 2004

Ha ha ha.
Andy and I were musing this weekend that even though we make moderate attempts to keep up with the news–I check CNN at least once a day and spend a couple of hours with the Sunday Grand Rapids Press (and a fine publication it is)–we really have no clue what is going on in the world.
For example, the news out of Iraq has been extremely depressing, and demoralizing, lately. Here is what is going on in Iraq, according to the news:
(1) Soldiers are being killed.
(2) Americans are torturing prisoners.
I’m not complaining that this reflects media bias or anything like that. These are clearly important news stories, and I would agree that the second is the most important story coming out of Iraq at this time. These people need to be investigated and punished, and we need to do what it takes to make sure this stops and never happens again.
My complaint is that I want to know what’s going on over there. These are two things that are happening in Iraq. Is anything else going on? Are the soldiers who are not getting killed or torturing people sitting around on their butts all day? What are the Iraqi people doing (besides the ones shooting at soldiers)? Whatever happened to this turning over of power to the Iraqi people thing–that seems like a pretty big story.
For that matter, whatever happened to North Korea’s nuclear program? No idea. What’s going on in Afghanistan (besides the occasional killing of an American soldier by “militants”)? The world is a pretty big place, and I’m pretty sure there’s stuff going on outside of the Middle East. I’d be interested in hearing about some of it.
Here’s the main headlines on CNN when I checked it today:
(1) Pentagon briefing Bush.
(2) Investigation of 1955 slaying of black teen reopened.
(3) Kobe Bryant to enter formal plea. (This again? It seemed to me that The Media was hoping for a Simpson-like media circus about this case, and failed to drum up the public interest. Are they having another try? Can’t we allow the alleged victim some dignity and let the justice system do its work?)
(4) Mother of Osmond family dies.
(5) Alaskans begin burying winter’s dead. (Please don’t ask me to believe that this is the 5th most important thing going on in the world today).
(6) Comic and actor Alan King dead at 76.
(7) “Van Helsing” is monster at box office.
57% of the top headlines are entertainment-related. I know they want to put a variety of stuff of interest up there, but honestly, I don’t check the news to read about the deaths or crimes of entertainers, or movie reviews. For that stuff, I can read Entertainment Weekly, which continues to be mysteriously delivered to our apartment despite the fact we’ve never paid anyone for it.
I used to want to be a reporter, and still believe that it is the main responsibility of the media to report the information that the citizens of a free country need to know in order to keep that country free. This is an election year, and I feel more than ever that I’m expected to make a decision almost entirely on hype instead of information. The candidates make diametrically opposed claims about what they’ve done or plan to do, and where can I go to find out who is telling the truth? Definitely not the news.

another hyde park experience

Friday, May 7th, 2004

I had to go to Chicago on Wednesday to meet with the advisor and do some other U of C stuff. Hyde Park was at its least bleak with the spring flowers and cheery students holding classes outside–the grass was still brown and it was kinda cold, but they were determined, I guess.
A few changes have taken place in the old neighborhood since my time. A Starbucks has gone in where a dry cleaner used to be. A Borders bookstore has gone in where a park used to be on 53rd street across from the Metra station. Hopefully this will bring new life to that “borderline” area, which was controversially granted tax breaks a few years ago, much to the dismay of many who wanted to see it well and truly blighted before the government intervened.
Jacobs Brothers Bagels, where I used to purchase Rocky Road flavored coffee and toasted blueberry bagels with lowfat cream cheese; as well as the site of a few Hyde Park experiences, has closed. It looked like a couple of other businesses might have been closed also, though I couldn’t tell for sure because I was busy dodging maniac drivers (see below). One of these was ArtWerk, an art shop, which is too bad. 53rd St. isn’t particularly scenic and looking at the art was a nice enhancement to my walk to church.
The Meridian Movie Theater closed a year or two before I moved away. It’s still closed. How does a movie theater, the only one within a 45-minute travel radius of a densely-populated university neighborhood like Hyde Park manage to run itself into the ground? Living in Hyde Park was a little like living in a small town–you had to travel a couple of hours to get to stores, movie theaters, etc.–only with more crime.
I even had a genuine Hyde Park Experience while I was there. I was stopped at a stoplight getting ready to turn left onto 53rd. I had the left turn light, but two people appeared to be about to walk in front of my car, so I stayed stopped. This drove the driver behind me into a frenzy of frantic horn-honking. When I was sure that my turning left would not end the innocent lives of two human beings, I turned left onto 53rd, a narrow road with one lane in either direction, cars parked on either side of the road; and obscured by much double parking, stop signs, and people strolling casually into the street. I proceeded down the street, but not fast enough for the guy behind me, who decided to pass me. By driving into a lane with oncoming traffic. Traffic oncoming directly at him. Which fortunately slowed down to avoid a collision.
The trip turned out to be rather unnecessary, but I did get the books I needed to finish my Egyptian Cthulhu adventures. Here’s hoping my profs never find out the uses to which I am putting my education.


Sunday, May 2nd, 2004

I have been on a domestic kick lately. I started looking for jobs, but who is going to hire me when I’m leaving for seven weeks in less than a month; and I gave up trying to study because I won’t have time to keep it up while I’m gone and will have forgotten everything by the time I get back. So, I’ve been lazing around and doing long-neglected household chores. Between Andy and me, we’ve gotten most of the stuff that’s been “stored” on the floor or tossed haphazardly into closets or the computer room put away, so it’s looking unprecedentedly tidy in here.
I’ve also started knitting again. My total knitting output since learning to knit in college has been two scarves, and I’m now about a third of the way into another one. If that goes well, I might try a sweater next.
In keeping with my domesticated mood, some rambling about cooking and a few recipes follow.