Saturday, April 10, 2004

As an adult I find more and more that Easter is one of my favorite holidays and favorite times of year. I love the fourth of July. I like New Year. I love Earth Day. I love Thanksgiving. I love Talk Like a Pirate Day. I kind of like Halloween but that one's more like an old friend that's gone in a very different direction from me. Christmas is the holiday I have the most misgivings about.
Easter is a strange holiday with thousands of years worth of traditions and eccentricities wrapped around it. The Venerable Bede, everyone's favorite mystic monk from the medieval church, claims that the name of the holiday is another one of the many church traditions ripped from the pagans so as to get them interested in the Christian church. Eostre was a pagan goddess, and probably still is, with much of the same imagery we're familiar with around Easter. The eggs also come from the same Spring fertility rituals. The colored eggs have a strange mythos behind them. It's said that Simon who carried the cross of Jesus then went home to find all of his eggs brightly and strangely colored as a reward for his sacrifice. This is a WAY apocryphal story though.
We have the Council of Nicea to thank for the floating day of easter that allows my birthday to fall on easter every once in a while. We've got hot cross buns. We've got Easter ham and Easter Seals. We've got lilies, one of my niece's namesake.
The nieces were asking about the Easter Bunny at supper tonight. I was surprised because my brother never allowed them to believe in Santa Claus, telling them he was a hoax since they were toddlers (and, mercifully, explaining that it's improper to bust the illusions of other toddlers who may well believe in St. Nick.) But I guess they decided to let the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy into their home. And me. And I got to sneak in a little of my personal approach to theology to them. Faithy was protesting that there was no Easter Bunny. I asked how she knew that. She said that there was no Santa Claus, so there must not be an Easter Bunny. I pointed out how different they are. I also pointed out that the fact that one didn't exist didn't disprove the existence of another. One could just as well say the president doesn't exist because you've never met him (I didn't get into Adam Weishaupt though. Maybe when she's older.) She didn't have an answer for that.
Moriah pointed out that bunnies aren't that big. I pointed out that nobody said that the Easter Bunny was particularly large, or at least those who had have suspect sources. I also told her that there are abnormally large bunnies in England on the set of the Teletubbies, bunnies that are bred to be about as big as Lily.


Today we had another bar-b-que. It's nice. We're not being frugal with the charcoal and propane this spring. I cooked up some jalapeno sausages and some Boca sausages for myself. I had a little mango juice with it. A fine way to spend a noon hour.
I mowed the lawn for what might be the last time until I return. There's something about the smell of mown lawn on a spring day. Pat took apart the pool and the deck. We tried to dig out a large piece of concrete but found that it goes down a good four feet at least. We both got exceedingly sweaty and dirty.
The other good news is that orders and thumping this weekend. I'm cleaning up. I've got six to go out on Monday and I've still got another day's worth of orders coming. Makes me feel a little better about taking ten days off to go on my buying trip south this coming week.

Friday, April 09, 2004

Sorry I've been out for a few days. Things are getting a little heavy with preparing for next week's trip down south. Plus orders are picking up a little again. Plus there's Easter this weekend. Plus, I confess, I bought a new video game.
I bought the Zoo Tycoon complete collection. The game is to create a zoo with a certain amount of money (which usually turns out to be WAY less money than you need.) Then you maintain it with zoo keepers, you keep customers happy with benches, potties, burger stands, drink machines, carousels, and what not. You make the animals happy with appropriate foliage and rocks in their exhibits. You get to watch the animals cruise around. If you're feeling naughty you can remove a section of the fence and watch the lions attack the guests.
Then there are the suppliments or expansions or whatever they're called. There's one where you build a marine park and one where you build a dinosaur park. Also in each you have the opportunity for speculative creatures like yetis or Nessie or giant squids.
Fun.

Today Pat and John (who pastors the Orchard church) and I went to Yume's Buffet, which is the best Chinese buffet I've been to. Ever. It's really good. Best pot stickers I've ever had.
This afternoon Abi, Lily and I played the Aligator and the Ballerina. That's the game where I'm the aligator and Abi's the ballerina and she runs around me on the trampoline giggling. Lily's job is to throw the Care Bear at her. The only reason I'm the aligator is that I drew an aligator chasing a ballerina on her chalk board. I don't actually get to do any aligatory things in the game.
Tonight the fam and I went to the Neighborhood Church, which I really didn't like at all. I won't go into why because I'd rather not dwell on things like. But Miss Stephanie was in their Good Friday play, so we went to see that.
I'm trying not to get anxious about the trip south. But I am. I'm leaving the 15th and coming back up the 22nd or 23rd because there's a blood drive here on the 25th and I want to get that wonderful high one gets from giving a pint. I'll try and keep posting while I'm down there. I'm sure there'll be much to speak on.
But this is many days away. I shouldn't be thinking on this right now. I should be thinking about the bar-b-que we're having tomorrow.
Anyway. Back to the zoo for me.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

I let myself sleep in a little even though I had nasty dreams about aligators trying to eat me.
Put yesterday's score of books online.
Pat stopped by and said he had to make a run to Durham. Asked if I wanted to go along. On the way he stopped and showed me where Jonathan is buried. That was a sad and quiet moment.
Durham is about a ten minute drive out of town. It's all big time ranches, not really a town at all at all. We loaded some food stuffs into the murder van and I got to meet a friendly black Lab named Max. Young and full of energy and loved to be petted. Much thinner than the labs from Sweetwater.
I came home and shelved the books. Went to the store and splurged on two new bandanas (which were less than $5 for the two so one can hardly call that splurging.) Jumped on the trampoline, read, and generally had a quiet end of the day.
I'm anticipating the approaching trip down south. The news of the day is that there's a blood drive up here on the 25th, so I'm going to be coming back a little earlier than I'd planned in order to give away free blood.

Monday, April 05, 2004

Also, if I were really smart I wouldn't have bought the cookie that made me feel so cracked out. I would have gone to the store next door (we were at the mall, which is why the chinese food was sub-par) that was having the video sale and bought "How The West Was Won" which was the same price as the cookie, roughly. Then I could have watched that film many times instead of eating one overly processed cookie.
But on the lighter side, the cookies were buy one get one free. The free one I put in a bag to give to somebody at the class and promptly forgot the cookie on the counter of the candy store. Pat and I were on our way out and were talking unfavorably about a book in the new releases section of the bookstore when I noticed I didn't have my cookie and I had to go back and get it. Later it hit me that the book we were talking smack on was the new Left Behind book.

I thought it was funny anyway.
I said something stupid last night that if you'll pardon I will mend. I could go back and fix it because I've figured out how to do that on this blog, but I won't. I won't because I don't mind pointing out that I'm really foolish and a space cadet a lot of the time. I know there are people who have told me that they've been intimidated by me on account of my intellect, but I assure you that I'm a fool.
I said last night that Jesus may or may not have been crucified in Spring. Today it hit me, "Where the crap was my brain when I wrote that?!!?"
Of course he was crucified in Spring. We know this biblically because of Daniel 9. With the angel's prophecy at the end of the chapter we can trace it out that Jesus was in fact crucified on April 10th, 32 AD. This is purely from a biblical perspective though. I won't go into the sufficiency and inerrancy of scripture here although I could argue that from either side if I felt like it. But the real forehead slap happened when I remembered the simple historical fact that tells the most agnostic of historians that Jesus was crucified in Spring. Passover. Dur hey.
Really I was thinking about the advent. Jesus may not have been born on December 25th. In fact, as far as historical records go on that he has a one in three hundred and sixty chance of having been born on December 25th (as the Jewish calendar was 360 days a year with a leap month every nineteen years or something like that.)
Rest assured though that the other facts that are presented on this blog are fairly accurate. The Great Boston Molasses Flood really happened in January of 1919. A man was really put into prison for sneaking up and hitting people with a tire iron. Constantine really continued as acting emperor for a month after he died. And, yes, the grass really is greener over the drain zone of a septic tank.
So you get a little history lesson and comparative religion lesson here without even knowing it. Like I've said before, you really should apply for course credit for reading this site.

Anyway, got a big haul of great books today including a book of sermons from 1908, a copy of the chronicly out of print G.K. Chesterton's Orthodoxy, one of the earliest self-help books from the 1930's, The Savoy Cocktail recipe book, a joint biography of Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson from the '70's to promote a tour they were doing together, and a fluffy religious book from the '60's that I bought just because of the title "Apples of Gold." Like a good Discordian I couldn't pass that up.
It started off cold this morning, but blossomed into a gorgeous day.
Tonight Pat and I went to get some mediocre chinese food and then to his class. I had a really chocolatey, sugary cookie for dessert and felt like my skeleton wanted to crawl out of my ears all night. I'm thinking about cutting out desserts of any kind until I go south, which approaches quickly by the way.

Sunday, April 04, 2004

Huelsenbeck died today. That was the dalmation molly. I don't know when and I don't know why. He'd been swimming funny the last day or so and today I looked in there and found him quite dead. So now it's just the neon tetra, Seeger the frog and Europa the snail.
Palm Sunday service revolved around the crucifixion which was kind of strange. I understand that a pastor needs to do the crucifixion at some point before Easter. I like what Granada Heights Friends used to do back when they had Pastor Ponz and they were a good church. Palm Sunday would have the neat cheery spring palms and maybe the sermon would touch on the Last Supper. Then on Friday they'd have the Good Friday service. You'd come in and the cross would be covered in a black cloth. We'd sing the heaviest of hymns (and for those of you unfamiliar with church music, to say a "heavy hymn" is redundant.) The sermon would be on the crucifixion, innocent blood shed, that type of thing. And then we'd go home feeling like we'd just been at a funeral. But on Easter Sunday the cross would have a white cloth over it and the hymns would be at their ecstatic joyousest. And you'd feel like that joy and relief like at the last party after finals a hundred fold. Very effective.
I think we humans need a good resurrection story when spring starts. Those who know their comparative religions will know that this tradition is older than Christ (Who may or may not have been crucified in spring, but was in fact crucified on a Friday by the way.) It's a way of explaining our present and a rite of passage from the frost to the planting.
Then I went and saw Pat's Palm Sunday children's show. I love church drama. It's so no-budget and touching at the same time. The productions are usually so human. You got kids shifting around on stage, a backdrop that looks like two mothers stayed up all night painting, and actors who everyone knows and who are reading lines from poorly hidden scripts.
I went to Chico Natural Foods, got some blood oranges (yummers) and the mesquite charcoal briquettes that are in a bag so you just light the bag ablaze.
Pat had a bar-b-que this afternoon. First time I've eaten a beef hotdog in like five years.
Speaking of which, Mammy sent me a picture of me at Christmas and I received it yesterday. I looked like a cream puff. It's amazing how much weight I've lost and how much I've toned up just by eating less and walking everywhere. I look so round in that picture. Then I went and looked in a mirror and smiled.