Thursday, January 31, 2008

point A and point B

point A: heidi's gone visiting her sister in baltimore. this is sad for a multitude of reasons:

1) i miss her. she is wonderful company.
2) sleeping alone in our gigantic bed scares me. i heard noises all last night as i tried to sleep (yes, i was scared because my wife was not home to protect me).
3) i haven't had a decent meal since she left (day-old salad and popcorn for dinner last night, for example).
4) i just keep working late because, what's the point of going home? but work is dumb. quandry.
5) last night started with an episode of jeopardy, followed by several episodes of law and order, followed by dinner impossible. this would be a perfect evening if not for the fact that i laid alone in a swaddling blanket and refused to move for fear that i would lose my warmth (i decided to turn the heat down since only one person is using the house now instead of two. this made sense to me when i did it).
6) heidi makes me smile. i have grown accustomed to this, but i realize now how terrible it is to not see her all the time.
7) i find myself writing blogs about how miserable i am without her (it's been roughly 36 hours) and this brings an all new awareness of how pathetic i really am.

and all of that leads to point B, namely, that i would like to go out tonight and hang with the boys (on a school night?) but apparently there is some winter storm advisory and i am advised to stay home and only travel if necessary. in california, this kind of stuff never happened. we never had to coordinate our lives around weather... it was the same every day. i find it hard to believe that weather would be the culprit of ruining my night. but it is a distinct possiblity.

Monday, January 28, 2008

band of horses

kevin's getting mad at me 'cause i said i wasn't going to get all sad and sappy on my blog (i don't think i've been sad and sappy, as much as i have been introspective and quizzical, but what's the difference, i guess?)

simply a positive report to share:

last night.
southgate house.
band of horses.

damn good. real damn good.

i know that i am going to be more sentimental than most with the band and their music (since heidi walked down the aisle to funeral), and i know that i elevate their music to a much higher place than most of my peers, but i can't help but feel like sparklers were going off in my stomach at that show last night. christmas morning type of stuff. sunsets and long walks on the beach (not really, but i'm too lazy to think of anything worthwhile to say)
i was giddy with joy. thanks to heidi for a sweet christmas present.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

rambo (part I of II)

this could get out of hand rather quickly.

a large and raucous group of precocious 20-something males (and one begrudged female) sat side by side with red bandanas on head and eagerness in heart to watch the newest installment of the cinematic mastery that is Rambo. we yelled at the screen, laughed at sly stallone's sagging face, shouted commands at rambo throughout, and generally had a fantastic time watching this movie together (on a side note: this is how movies should be watched. the rest of the theater might not agree, but it was a community getting together and having a grand time. this is why snakes on a plane was such a great movie. it was ridiculous and wildly entertaining to watch and mock in community. i would never watch that movie by myself - where is the fun in that?)

so this is the occasion. it was a good time. and we all went out and got some drinks and kept our ridiculous head bands on all night simply to advertise the fact that we watched rambo tonight, everybody else did not, and we had more fun than you did, therefore we are better (something like that).

but here's the thing about this movie. i fully expected to laugh and generally enjoy the gratuitous and cartoonized violence reminiscent of my days growing up watching the former glory of arnold and bruce and segal and van damne. this happened. rambo ripped a man's esophogus out with his bare hands. people's heads got blown off. necks were broken. explosions and all of that. this was what we were looking for.

but we got so much more than that. and here i am, hours later and sober-minded, thinking about the implications of this film. being challenged by this film. contemplating life and death, good and evil, and war and peace because of this film. i didn't expect this. i read before attending the movie that 236 killings are depicted in this movie. i expected every one of these to be at the hands, bow and arrow, and large knife of mr. rambo, but alas, there's more going on here than deadpan lines given by a man with a poor accent and a lazy eye.

the wonderfully friendly bouncer at the gypsy hut stopped me on the way out of the bar last night to inquire about all these dudes roaming around with ridiculous head bands. and we talked about rambo. we talked about sly stallone. and he told me about an interview with stallone he heard earlier in the week, about how this stuff was real. about how sly stallone wanted to make a meaningful movie that grabbed the attention of the american public. this is a movie about the 60-year civil war in burma. this is a movie about genocide. this is a movie about hell. and they went there. stallone would have it no other way.

“I thought the Burmese setting would be ideal because it’s a story that’s not just about Rambo. It’s actually happening. It’s true. From the time I heard about it and began researching it, I thought, ‘If I could just combine the two – raising awareness of the Karen-Burmese civil war and giving the audience a good adventure story – that would be perfect.’”
- stallone interview:

stallone: the activist? stallone: the artist? stallone: the crusader of human rights and justice? i know. whatever happened to stallone: the meathead? stallone: the muscles without morals? it's not here. read the interviews. this guy is saying something. this guy has a point. like neil young coming back two years ago and making "Living with War," stallone is rising up from the obscurity of being the butt of the joke, to making a statement. and we should listen.

“The biggest and most interesting crises in the world is the human crises. It never gets boring. Just like Shakespeare. You don't need a gimmick. It's just man against man, just their intolerance of each other.”
- stallone interview:

are we getting this? this is rambo. this is shakespeare. this is the human condition. and slyvester stallone is the spokesperson. the philosopher. the statesman and the theologian.

and speaking of theologians. i consider myself to be one who contemplates and studies and enjoys the pursuit of this massive undertaking of the study of God.

so what does God have to say about all this? apparently stallone was asking the same question. why else is rambo taking christian missionaries into burma? why else do we see this struggle? rambo the athiest becoming rambo the seeker of truth and love. he wears the crucifix given to him by the blonde around his wrist as he fashions his machette. does he just have a crush on this girl? he never comes down the hill to meet her and embrace and fall in love as you would expect after the final bloodbath. no, that's not what this is about. according to sly, this movie is about something else.

"There's some things that never change and are universal truths. As you get older, they become more and more apparent about how difficult life is … I think the lesson that is somewhat presented here, that war is hell and there is no winner ever and unfortunately people just have to find it out the hard way, will translate. And eventually after a man takes that journey, a woman takes that journey, you always hope that you can go back home, that there's still some gateway back to peace, peace of mind where you can start to rebuild. That's the only thing I hope works. I think it does work because they're just universal truths that never, ever change. No matter what society is, just everybody wants freedom, everyone wants peace of mind but it comes at a horrible price."
- stallone interview:

i have so much more to say, but i fear this post grows too long, and you and i are growing tired. perhaps part II will come soon. i want to seriously look at war. i've been reading augustine's just war theory in "CIty of God" and c.s. lewis' lecture, "Why I am not a Pacifist" and the gospels and the writings of Paul and the book of Joshua in the Bible and i think that all these things are related. i think that rambo has rocked the boat a little for me.

really? i know. i'm just as surprised as you are. but as John Rambo says, "Y'know what you are, what you're made of. War is in your blood. When you're pushed, killing's as easy as breathing."

Saturday, January 26, 2008


i am watching daredevil on FX. this is my saturday morning/afternoon. heidi is gone and i am not quite sure what to do with myself. and as i am watching daredevil, i am looking at two plus years of myspace messages between heidi and i. the ones from the beginning. the story.

so daredevil is a terrible movie. i have never seen it before, and i don't care to ever see it again. but here's what's important about daredevil, and here's whats important about myspace messages.


this is what is important. this is life. this is what gives us meaning. this is what we care about.

according to my friend tim keller (i've never met this man, but he is a preacher i have been listening to relentlessly over the past few weeks) story breaks down this way:

the way things are supposed to be. the introduction of characters. the plot. etc.

the interference. the evil that makes itself evident. murder, theft, heartbreak, death, the bad guy. etc.

the resolution. how to defeat the interference/the evil. and get back to the way things are supposed to be.

that's a good story. that's every movie ever made. that's the story of how my wife and i met, became fond of one another, fell away from each other and lost our love, and found our way back. how we fell in love and continue to fall in love every day.

it's why ben affleck fights collin farell. it's spiderman and superman and hulk. and it's little miss sunshine, juno, and rushmore, it's a wonderful life, and so on and so forth.

america is this story. every nation is this story. every human life is this story.

the gospel, the bible is this story.

God creates everything good - the way things are supposed to be.

sin enters the pictures and defaces the beauty of creation - graffiti on the mona lisa, van gogh, or picasso.

and Jesus comes into the world to defeat sin and restore the canvas to beauty. restoring shalom. peace.

buddhism says the problem in the world is suffering. that pain ruins the way things are supposed to be.
and that the ego is the problem. so if you can get beyond yourself, you can get back to a life without suffering.

but i'm not the hero. i can't be the hero.

cause i'm no good. i'm not strong enough and i'm not good enough.

like daredevil, i'm blind.

and i'm ok with that. because the gospel story says i don't have to be the hero. and that makes the most sense to me. that gives me hope. Jesus is a good hero. he is somebody we can trust to defeat the bad guys and restore order in the story. he's the one who can deliver the happy ending we all hope for in this life.

i accept this. i trust this. i live for this.

daredevil is now finishing, and it appears that elektra is coming on next. another story. i'm guessing it will be just as terrible as daredevil, perhaps even worse. but i'm guessing it will be the same story. and i'm looking forward to that.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

dinner guests

my good friends kevin and russ are on their way to my house now and should be here any minute so i will be brief.

my wife made a wonderful looking and smelling lasagna and i am estatic.

good friends, good food, shared conversation and delight in the company of each other.

i think this might be good.

perhaps a full report will come later.

Monday, January 21, 2008

i hate the word blog

i am pretty sure that i have sworn multiple times, to several people that i would never do a blog. the reasons for this are many and for the most part, i still consider this approach to weblogs to be rather accurate. i hate the word "blog" and i hate reading people's blogs that teeter between the trumpeting of one's cool and the lamenting of life in order to present oneself as "deep" and "elevated" above others.

insomuch as i have refused to blog, i have also refused to join myspace, watch the oc, ever leave california, wear boxers, and a considerable list of others that i have at one point vehemently opposed, only now to embrace and enjoy.

so when i came home from work today to learn that my wife started a blog, and thus suggested that i should do the same; without hesitation, i jumped in.

this may be the first of many.
this may be the only.

i have no idea why anybody would take time out of their busy world wide web surfing to read what i have to say about anything, but i suppose there are some gluttons for punishment.

out of fear that i am coming across as a pretentious jerk now, i shall say no more at this time.