Friday, March 11, 2011

A walk.

I'm terrible at keeping up with things. One thing I have always wanted to do was walk my way through the New Testament. Tonight is the start of what I hope to be a fruitful, and consistent, journey.

The Gospel of Matthew is considered the most "Jewish" of the gospels because of its repeated references to the Law. However, it does contain an anti-Pharisaic bias and does end with the Gentile mission. The book's organization consists of 5 great discourses (Ch 5-7, 10, 13, 18, 24-25) with a narrative section preceding each discourse.

CH 1.
The gospel opens with the geneology of Jesus, linking him to David and Abraham. The link with David indicates that Jesus, the Messiah ("annointed one") is a ruler. Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they were married, she found out she was to have a child through the Holy Spirit. Joseph was convinced to still marry Marry when he was visited by an angel which told him to marry, and name the son Jesus. The angel also said Jesus was to save his people from their sins.

CH 2.

Jesus was born in Bethlehem (Judea) during the reign of Herod.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Oh No She Didn't!

Oh, yes, she did.

Memorial Day weekend was fun--the fam took its customary trip to Gulf Shores, where a good time was had by all. Highlights included 2 bumper boat rides with my 2 year old nephew, sitting under a tent watching the dolphins, watching Finding Nemo about 6 times, pralines 'n cream yogurt, seafood gumbo, and Mom's famous taco salad.

I got back yesterday afternoon, only to find myself invited to a cookout at a friend's house that evening. I accepted the invitation, as did several others--including a newly-wed couple I had never met before (the husband was nice but nothing special, the wife was an extremely attractive, albeit redneck, blonde wearing a low-cut shirt).

There was some drinking going on---though I should tell my dear readers that I kept myself in check the entire evening---followed by several rounds of kareoke. I was in the middle of the second verse of "Friends in Low Places" when the drunk blonde wife plopped herself down in my lap. She was hanging all over me, which presented a hint of awkwardness between me and the husband (to say he was staring daggers at me would be an understatement). Later on, after she managed to get her pants wet by sitting on a rain-drenched deckchair, this woman kept inviting me to touch her ass--which I did not. She then proceeded to change her pants practically right in front of me (I, being the gentleman that I am, turned away from her as she was doing this). She even told me that I was "perfect" and that "we're soul-mates," and gave me 2 affectionate hugs and kisses before she left.

All in all, a pretty good night. I never fancied myself a homewrecker!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

It's been a month...

I've neglected you, blogosphere. Sorry about that. Here's what I've been up to, lately.

Movie Front:
- Ironman *** The hint of "anti military industrial complex" didn't bother me b/c it didn't dominate the story, and Robert Downey, Jr. is really funny. It's also neat in that as far as superheros go, this one is more believable (in line with Batman Begins). That said, I had never even heard of Ironman until this movie came out, and overall I didn't think there was a good back-story (unlike Batman Begins).

- Wag the Dog ***** I'm a political junkie, so of course I liked this one. But even if you weren't into politics, I think this one is a must-see. David Memet (America's greatest playright) was involved in the film which is genuinely funny until you get to the end, and the film turns very serious and tragic. There's some depth to the movie, and Dustin Hoffman absolutely steals the show.

- Prince Caspian *** I saw this on my day off on Friday afternoon, and overall the movie is entertaining, but I thought Prince Caspian's character is pretty weak. I also didn't like the fact that it turned into a bit of a love story between 2 of the major characters--a complete fabrication from the book. I won't say anything else, seeing as how my 2 readers have probably not gone to see this, yet.

Book Front:

- Finished: Benjamin Franklin (Isaacson) *** Like I said before, I prefer Stacey Schiff's book on him, but this one was good, too. The writing didn't blow me away, but the subject matter is really interesting.

- Working On: Joseph Ellis's "Founding Creation" and Christopher Buckley's "Boomsday".

Music Front:

- Vampire Weekend **** I'm pretty head-over-heals for this one--a very fun cd, and I really like the lead singer's voice.

Exercise Front:

- I've started taking Allison's Body Pump and Body Flow classes. They're good, and I've started noticing change. I'm not weighing myself, and am not even watching what I eat for the time being. I'll save that for June. For now, I'm just making sure I get in about 10 hrs of exercise a week.

What's on Tap:

I'm still looking for a girl, a church, and the freaking dead rat that's decomposing somewhere in some deep, dark crevice of my house. Sadly, the rat is taking priority.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

All about bitching this morning.

Tough week this week--pouring through mounds of paperwork I had to bring back from Florida, my eyes are twitching incessantly from fatigue. I woke up at 6:00, for no particular reason other than my body just felt it was time, and am trying to get myself pumped up about another Saturday on my feet taking orders from a cantankerous, old boss. Today is the first time I've REALLY dreaded going in (sure, I've complained about it before, but now I really mean it). I've got to get the house ready for my summer renter, and for the sake of my neighbors, I've GOT to get my yard mowed and bushes trimmed. I just don't have a day I can devote to these necessities. Sorry to be glum--it's early, and I'm tired and for whatever reason I can't sleep. I do get some vacation days at the end of next month, so I just need to hang on for a few more weeks.

By the way, has anybody (and by "anybody," I mean my 2 infrequent readers) seen the Aristocrats!? It's probably the worst movie ever made. It's a documentary on the filthiest joke ever told--they go around interviewing a bunch of comedians to get their take on the joke. The "genius" of the joke is that there's a basic structure, and a standard punchline, but the "artist" is free to fill into the middle of the joke as much outrageous material he can think of.

How in the world did this piece of crap ever get made!? I know it costs next-to-nothing to do an independent film, but c'mon! Just because it's free doesn't mean you should do it.

On the book front, I'm about to finish a Ben Franklin biography that I've been reading for far too long. It's good (well-researched), but I think it got a lot more acclaim than it deserves (the writing doesn't blow me away). There's a shorter book by a lady named Stacey Schiff, which covers just the period in Franklin's life which was spent in France during the Revolution (arguably the most interesting period of his life). Schiff's book is far better written than the Isaacson biography, and equally well-researched. Keep that in mind if you're ever looking to learn a little something about BF.

Nothing new doing on the music front. I can't get my ipod to work with this computer, so I haven't listened to anything new in a while. I find myself less interested in music, anyway--don't know why. It's almost like with movies--I'm moving beyond wanting to see or hear the newest things that are coming out. Maybe it's just that I'm busy...

Wow, what a great blog. I think I'll stick with politics...

Caught in a trap (Oh, Oh, O-bam-a) I can't walk out...

A new kind of politician, above taking cheap shots and slinging mud? Hardly...

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Race Diet

Like food is for the human body, education, in its myriad forms, is the fuel for the human soul. Just as what we fill our stomachs with determines how healthy our bodies are, our consumption of books, movies, music, friendships, and all other informative experiences determines how healthy our spirit is. Two recent local events, taken in view of the broader national Presidential election which, today, seems as though it is the black candidate's to lose, make me think that We the People are overdue for a change in what we consume, specifically in our education system.

I've been tutoring some inner city school kids for the past few months, and recently one of my six-year-olds asked me questions regarding several events of the Civil Rights movement (why blacks sat at the back of the bus, why policemen unleashed their dogs and firehoses, etc). It turns out, his 1st Grade Class was watching videos on the assasination of MLK. The boy was shown all of the horrible things that happened back then, but was clearly not told (or at least did not understand) that those days are almost a half-a-century behind us.

A few weeks later, I had lunch with friends at a very understated 9/11 memorial garden in the downtown area. There were models of the Twin Towers at one end, and a few park benches inlaid with tiles that had been painted by a local elementary school class. Of the 27 depictions on these tiles, 6 of them were of MLK. One of the paintings were of police dogs (the only representation of that proud group of civil servants who acted heroically on 9/11) attacking a defenseless black person lying on the ground. Imagine the confusion historians and archeologists will have, say, in the year 2501, when on a dig they discover this site--the one long-lost relic memorializing the events of that historic day. I think they would be at a loss to explain just what exactly MLK and race riots had to do with 9/11 at all--but at least you'll grant me that they would have a very hard time figuring out why these images were so over-represented at this particular memorial.

It is clear to me that kids in these public schools are being indoctrinated at a very early age with the absurd notion that we're still living in the 1950s and that the "system" is inherently designed to oppress people of color. This notion is fed to these kids at 6, and is pounded into their heads for the next 16 years--the most formative years of one's life--so that they emerge from American schools (1) grossly undereducated and (2) either (a) angry, bitter, defensive, with a sense of entitlement to something they didn't earn simply because their 300-year-old ancestors got off to a rockier start in America than their white counterparts, or (b) angry, bitter, defensive, with a sense of guilt for having the same color skin as those who perpetrated crimes against the Indians, crimes against the Africans, and every other minority population you can think of.

Our overindulgence in self-flagellation over our nation's past sins (which are sins not unique to this nation, or even to Western civilization) is bleeding into the current Presidential election. Shelby Steele purportedly writes, and many agree with this assessment, that it is "white guilt" that is driving Obama's popularity. I believe this is probably true--Barack's and Hillary's platforms are virtually indistinguishable. The major difference between the two are simply their anatomy and skin pigmentation. Historically, women were treated better than blacks, so today's emotion-driven electorate seemingly prefers to atone first for the bigger of the two sins by nominating (and possibly electing) the minority candidate WITHOUT even truly understanding his platform (platitudes of hope/change are hardly informative--for instance, is he proposing to change affirmative action?).

This obsession with race is a sickness, and we had better shake out of it. There are bigger problems facing us today than race, and better virtues than "tolerance" and "diversity" to celebrate and practice. A great place to start is for the schools to get back to teaching reading, writing, and arithmatic--the fruits and vegetables of education--and pass up the chocolate-and-vanilla milkshake of race relations.