Monday, December 25, 2006

and Omega.

His words will be full of ancient wisdom and boundless mercy.
But first,
he must learn to speak.

He shall strain against His cross, carrying up to Golgotha all our burdens.
But first,
he much learn to walk.

He shall live a perfect life, and die a perfect sacrifice.
Bur first,
he must be born.

One day, He shall cry out
"It is finished!"
and it shall be true.

But on this day,
this Christmas Day,
it begins.

Merry Christmas, one and all.

I have also reposted a certain Christmas story I wrote a few years ago on Nightsawake. Please enjoy.

And may God's immeasurable grace be always before you.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

God sighting, 12.19.2006

At the Jplus Architects Christmas party, I  got $150 cash in a gift exchange.  A fifty dollar bill, and a hundred dollar bill.  I assumed God was giving me some extra money to cover expenses.

Since my car had recently been stolen, it wasn't as easy to get down to the back to make a deposit.  So I didn't.  The money sat in an envelope on my desk for several days.  One evening, I finally put it in my wallet, intending to deposit it when I next stepped out to run errands.  Never quite made it to the bank, and in my wallet it stayed.

I made a small purchace at a local store, and asked if they could break a hundred.  Nope.  Oh, well.  Just checking.  Various other little expenses came up, and the fifty slowly disintegrated.  Easier to break.

Upon realizing one morning that I didn't have enough change to ride the bus, I stopped by the Schools Credit Union ATM on the ARC campus, to see if it would take my Wells Fargo card.  It did.  Got a twenty out, and wondered if I should go ahead and make the deposit from that ATM.  Uncertain of how that would work, I didn't.  The $100 bill sat in my wallet.

That day, a friend called me up.  Had an expense to cover, and the friend who had promised to loan him the money had fallen through.

He asked to borrow $100.

I smiled.

Monday, December 18, 2006

God, to the wretch

I thought this deserved a seperate post.  This verse came up in a conversation with my friend Jeremy, and I realized it fits in perfectly with my earlier post on self-loathing:

Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter.   -2 Corinthians 7:10-11 (emphasis mine)

If your conscience is bothering you, it's God speaking.  Take that guilt, and turn it toward repentance, and, having served its purpose, the guilt should by all means go away.

If you hate yourself, it's not God speaking.  Seek Him out, and He'll tell you.

Friday, December 15, 2006

The Juggler

"Do you know the difference between a jester and a clown?"

A trickle of blood dripped into Zippy's eye. He winced at the stinging pain, shaking his head and blinking rapidly. "Um... the clown's tied to a chair, and the jester's pacing back and forth, holding a knife?"

Arvhad halted in his tracks and threw Zippy a hard look. His left hand tossed and caught one of Zippy's throwing knives, casually. A heavy truck rumbled past the warehouse, awkward in the silence.

"I was referring to a more general sense," Arvhad said at last.

Zippy shook his head, leaning his head down. The blood dribbled, slowly and steadily, from the gash on his forehead to the concrete floor. The red, ink-like streak stood out starkly against Zippy's paper white skin.

"A jester," Arvhad began, resuming his pacing, "is a trusted advisor in disguise. He can say things to a king that no one else can. He can hide truth in jest, and say it straight into the king's ear. He has influence, but he wears a foolish mask."

"Or hat," Zippy smirked.

The bells on Arvhad's jester's cap rattled as he turned to his captive. "Precisely." Then, he took two swift steps forward and kicked Zippy in the chest. Zippy's breath left him in a whoosh as he tilted backwards, teetering past the point of balance and crashing to the floor. He flexed just in time to land on his elbows rather than his wrists. Bone-deep pain shot into his shoulders, and he clenched his teeth, straining against the zip-ties on his wrists and ankles.

"Now stop interrupting."

"Sorry. Please go on," Zippy wheezed.

The ratty black scarf hiding Arvhad's mouth shifted as he grinned, his eyes narrowing. "Thank you. So, a jester has influence on kings. A clown, however, has influence only on the handful of peasants that buy a ticket to the circus."

“See, I don't sell tickets, though,” Zippy said from the floor. He shifted his weight to avoid aggravating his bruises. “So I can reach a wider audience.”

“Very true,” said Arvhad, turning his pacing around the back of the chair. He stood over Zippy, looking upside down at his captive, still tossing and catching the dagger. Then, he stopped. Slowly, Arvhad shifted the dagger in his gloved hand, pinching the grip between his thumb and forefinger. He stretched out his arm, dangling the knife above his head, over the bridge of Zippy's nose. Zippy's eyes locked on the point of the blade.

“Perhaps,” said Arvhad, “you're more of a daredevil with clown makeup.”

Zippy's eyes never left the dagger. “Uh... maybe.”

“There are two things I associate with a daredevil, Zippy. The need to impress people...” Arvhad's hand drifted back and forth, the knife swiveling in his loose grip. “...and a death wish.” And as he said the words, he looked up from his captive, spread his fingers wide, and let go.

Zippy darted his head to the right, scooting the chair inches to the side. The dagger landed point-first, digging a chip from the concrete and clattering onto the floor. Arvhad looked down, unsurprised, as the dagger landed. Twisting his neck, Zippy could see the knife laying a few inches from his eye. He found himself breathing hard.

“And yet,” Arvhad was saying, “your survival instincts preserve you.”

Zippy craned his neck up, and could only barely see the jester. “I get a lot of practice.” His voice was unsteady when he spoke.

“Exactly. Exactly my point.” Arvhad folded his hands neatly in front of him and stared back at the clown. “Your life is in near-constant danger, because of choices you yourself make.”

“I...” Zippy realized he was breathing even harder, through gritted teeth. Angry, and getting angrier at the sound of the jester's voice. Shut up, he thought.

Arvhad turned as though he was about to start pacing again, then paused. He looked back toward his captive, clearly grinning behind his scarf. “It makes me wonder....”

Zippy's pulse raced. He looked over at the knife, and a thought occurred to him. He flexed his arms.

“My question is this,” said Arvhad, leaning forward subtly. “Why, O Razorclown, do you want to die so badly?”

The surge in adrenaline served him well. With a hard shove of his hands and a kick of his bound legs, Zippy rolled himself backwards, thrusting with his neck and shoulders to propel him over. He landed hard on his knees, gritting his teeth with the pain. Arvhad only had time to take a single running step before Zippy popped his hips. He rolled, chair and all, over his left shoulder, in perfect position for one hand up snatch up knife as he bowled into Arvhad's shins.

The jester toppled over the chair and landed hard on the blood-slick floor. Zippy rolled to a stop on his side, but only long enough to spin the knife in his fingers and saw twice at his bonds, cutting free his hands. Arvhad regained his feet and looked up just as Zippy, snarling with animal rage, with his ankles still bound to the chair, crouched on the toes of his boots and leapt forward, arms outstretched. The Razorclown's tackle drove Arvhad to the cold slab, stealing his wind. A loud jangle hit the air as the jester's head smashed against the concrete.

It was the last sound Arvhad heard before the blackness.

* * *

“Sir!” Kenzo was kneeling next to him.

Arvhad sat up sharply, and immediately saw spots. He clutched his head, blood-encrusted and sore at the back. “Nnn. Where is he?”

“The Razorclown, sir? Escaped. Jumped across the roofs.”

Arvhad stood, scooping up his hat and replacing it carefully on his head, covering his short blond hair. “Right. Who tied him up?”

“Sir, he-”


“Oh, yes.” Kenzo thought for a moment, frowning. “Rocco.”

“Teach him how to restrain someone properly. Then have him train the rest of the men.” He looked over at the group of thugs just returning from their failed chase. Arvhad took a single, deep breath, then reached down and grabbed the chair, setting it upright. Calmly, he said to the men, “Get to your secondary assignments for the night. Training session later this week. Go.” And they went.

Kenzo sighed. “You want some guys after him?”

Gingerly, Arvhad touched the back of his head, wincing very slightly at the pain. “No. No, not tonight. May as well give him some time to stew.” The hidden smile came to his face again. “I touched a nerve.” He reached into the pocket of his leather jacket, and removed a small digital recorder. He pushed the button.

“Profile update. Zippy the Razorclown. Physically stronger and more capable even than expected. Aggressive response when probed about death wish. Given his background, likely candidate for childhood abuse... or... a-ha.

“Survivor's guilt.”

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


Sometimes, I seriously hate myself.

I say this because, for one, it's the truth. It doesn't take much for me to get down on myself. One mistake, whether it's a minor verbal slip or a major lapse in judgment, and I'm growling at myself inwardly. When I give my best effort, and it isn't enough - or worse, my best effort only makes the situation worse - I want to punish myself for being such a screw-up.

The main reason I say this is because I've seen several of my friends post similar comments on their blogs, and I want them to know they're not alone. Not by far.

I have a lot to learn about how to love myself, particularly being able to forgive myself for mistakes. God is teaching me, and I'm slowly learning. It's not easy. As it turns out, there's a reason we sing Amazing Grace. The title of the song isn't "Well-Earned Grace." No such thing. It's amazing that God dispenses his grace to us, even though we mess up so very often.

Here's my problem: I focus so much on the "amazing" part, I miss the essence. Grace.

"Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." -Paul, Romans 5:7-8

I do God a grave disservice by beating up on myself. The only place for guilt and shame in my life is as an indicator that it's time to repent. That's it. Learn, turn, and move on.

God's love is greater than my failings. In him, I have hope to learn from my errors and grow beyond my own miniscule power.

I'll be praying. That our attitudes toward ourselves won't hold us back. That our anger toward ourselves will be momentary and constructive. And that God himself will show us a love greater than our mistakes.

How sweet the sound.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Upcoming Releases (updated)

I'm excited. Today, I recorded my addition to the Pipeline Devotions podcast: a reading of the devotional I wrote for the Pipeline MySpace page. If you're interested, follow the link above and look for the episode entitled "The Purpose of Religion." Don't miss the other good stuff there, too.

Update: My devotioal is up on the Pipeline Devotions podcast! Follow the link above to subscribe, or just download individual episodes. All of this is free.

If you're listening to the podcasts, please also take the time to leave comments in the iTunes Music Store. Just navigate to the podcast's site in the store, and scroll down until you see "Customer Reviews." Click the little arrow to add your own feedback.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

The Razorclown Returns


[something with Zippy. setting?
(medieval/fantasy) (modern/urban fantasy) (futuristic/cyberpunk)
maybe a series of short stories of his different incarnations. that could be cool. but where to start? at the beginning, surely. so, fantasy it is.
doing what?
start en medias res. that's more fun than not.
but still, what's he doing? ooh! got one. fighting a dracolich and its zombie minions. and he takes it out with [edit for suspense]. heh.
probably wanna start with him in midair. having been whacked? dodging?
how long has he been fighting? i'm seeing it underground. that could work. ooh! a tomb with a big central chamber. perfect.

game on.]

Okay. No sword. No magic carpet. A few knives, a few dried herring, ten flasks of lamp oil, and the Gloves of Fish Ignition. And no one knows I'm here.

He lowered his shoulder, ramming past the shambling corpse blocking the narrow walk. A cloud of dust and dried skin puffed from the zombie as it spun about and tumbled stiffly over the edge. Zombies everywhere... Zippy shuddered and checked over his right shoulder, the path before him clear for ten paces. He squeaked and dived onto his stomach. The colossal, rotting claws swept over his head, scraping deep grooves in the stone wall behind him.

And that thing.

The dracolich roared in frustration, lurching forward to attack again. "Die, you accursed clown!"

"No!" Zippy shouted back. The undead dragon's half-decayed talons swept down from overhead, and he had half an instant to consider. And as he contemplated the thirty foot drop to the solid rock below, his instincts rolled him over and off the edge of the catwalk. The dracolich knocked a five-foot section of the wooden walkway into splinters, and Zippy spun sharply about in midair, raising an arm as the dragon's arm slammed into him. Zippy's head jerked hard, glancing of the monster's exposed bone. His vision sparking and his arm numb from the impact, he smashed against the dracolich's thigh and dropped the remaining ten feet to the ground, feet down. Expertly, the tucked and rolled, snapping back up to his feet and looking up at his enemy. His eyes blurred and the room swirled.

Naw, it's not worth the risk
, he decided three seconds too late.
The dracolich swung its gray-black head about, looking for its quarry. Dizzily, Zippy realized he had landed in a crowd of undead. No fewer than eight zombies stumbled toward him, dead arms outstretched. He shook his head, and only got dizzier.

The dracolich caught sight of him, and the two locked eyes.

Probably should have planned a little better, he thought for the thousandth time.

Even as he thought it, a zombie latched on to his backpack from behind. Zippy tugged, and its grip held firm.

"Perhaps you should have thought ahead, fool," the dracolich rumbled, smiling a jagged, malevolent smile.

"I was just thinking the - oh, no," Zippy said as he saw the dragon's mouth open wide, its head driving down for the fatal chomp. For the merest fraction of a moment, Zippy froze. Then, he swung his arms back and lunged forward, leaping out of his backpack's straps. The dracolich snapped shut its jaws, catching only the zombie and the backpack.

Zippy rolled over his right shoulder, springing back to a low, ready stance. The remaining zombies slowly turned toward him, and the dracolich whipped its reptile head about to face him, a broken shin bone protruding from its mouth. It ground its carnivore teeth together once, and, staring straight at Zippy, swallowed its mouthful.

To the dracolich's amazement, the clown's jaw dropped - not in fear, but in delight. "Wow," Zippy said, lifting one leather-gloved hand. "Thanks." And he snapped his fingers.


The Razorclown grinned and grabbed another biscuit, stuffing the entire pastry in his mouth. The barmaids waited as he chewed, eager to hear the rest of the story. After half a minute of chewing, he took a swig of coffee from his tankard and gulped down the lot. He turned back to his audience, smiling.


"...what?" he asked.

"Well?" the farmer in the corner said. "How'd you beat the dragon?"

"I told you! I snapped my fingers!" Zippy said, holding up his hand. He wore leather gloves with the middle finger and the thumb cut off, along with an open patch on the palm. Emblazoned on the back was a curious design of a flaming fish with Xs for eyes.

The barkeep snapped his fingers. "There! I done the same! Sure ain't killed me no zombie dragon!"

Zippy shook his head. "Oh, simple townsfolk. Don't you remember? It ate my backpack!"


"...which was full of fish..."

A gasp from the dark-haired barmaid, who nearly spilled the mug she was carrying. "And lamp oil!"

Zippy clapped his hands and pointed to her. "Someone buy her a cookie!"

The farmer in the back got it, and burst into racous laughter.

The barkeep lifted an eyebrow at Zippy, and finally, the Razorclown caved. He reached into his new backpack and pulled out a small salted fish with one hand. The other he held up for all to see.

"Behold, the Gloves of Fish Ignition, my second..." he thought for a moment, "...yeah, second most prized possession. One snap of the fingers, and any fish... bursts into flame!" And he snapped. The herring in his opposite hand was instantly engulfed in blue fire, sizzling and popping with heat. Zippy calmly dropped the fish into a nearby mug of beer, which emitted a short burst of steam and a very unpleasant odor.

"Now," Zippy continued, dusting off his hands, "What happens when ten flasks of lamp oil are suddenly ignited by ten pickled herring in a dracolich's throat?"

The laughter had already begun. The light-haired barmaid lifted a fair eyebrow, smirking. "You don't mean..."

"Yup." Zippy smirked back.


The dracolich barely had time to register its surprise before its head was propelled forcefully from its neck. Zippy yelped and leapt to the side as the smoking skull hurtled past him, crashing into the wall with an echoing crack! He looked back to see the dracolich's dead left eye staring at him. A glutteral sound escaped, somehow, from its mouth, and the head crumbled to dust. The dracolich's decapitated body fell to the stone floor, disintegrating on impact. A collective moan filled the cavern as the entire throng of zombies collapsed, the unclean magic animating them dispelled by the death of the caster.

Zippy stood still for a moment, surrounded by dust and corpses. The echoes faded, and the catacomb was silent.

Maybe, he thought, this story will get me some free goodies at the tavern.

He sneezed at the dust.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


What? A post? How is that possible?

Big news. The college group at my church has begun a podcast. I'm excited.

Check it out in the iTunes Music Store. Search for "Pipeline Ministries," and you'll find one with a black logo with little red stars. That's us. It's free, and full of good content: daily devotionals, mini-messages, and the lesson from that week's Sunday's Cool (don't blame me. i didn't name it).

Also, for more devotionals (some written by myself), audio and Pipeline news, check out our MySpace page. We're putting that blasted social networking site to good use!

Expect more soon on this particular site. Apparently, I'm supposed to be writing.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

A song isn’t just a song when it’s attached to a story.

People didn’t think of that when the first exiles arrived. They didn’t have much with them – didn’t have time to get anything together. We’d heard stories of how rich they were. How much money they spent on things they didn’t even need. “They’re fat and lazy,” my brother-in-law said once, “and they don’t even work for it.”

They definitely worked hard when they got to the city. Within the first two days, one family had a fruit stand up and running. I found out later that my aunt helped them find an old farmer to work with, a guy who needed help getting to the city and back. For the wage they got, they were doing him a favor.

I stopped by the fruit stand that first morning on the way to work. Bought an orange. Two things I’ll always remember about that first time I talked to them: one, the look on the mother’s face. I looked her in the eye as she handed me my change, and I could tell that she had been crying. But she smiled at me all the same, and wished me a good day.

Second, they were playing the radio.

Seemed like every time I went by a group of exiles, the radio was going. Our stations played their music a lot. It was more popular then than it is now. So they listened constantly. It’s like they drank it in, like they needed it. Once I saw an exile kid wearing these little headphones, and trying to hide something in his pocket, but he kept fiddling with it. It was one of those little pocket radios, an MP3. One of the guys from my work saw him and asked him what he had, and he took off.

I was walking back from work two weeks after the first exiles arrived, and the younger sister was running the fruit stand. Little brother was unloading crates of berries from the old farmer’s truck. She looked at me when I walked up, and tried to smile, but then, out of nowhere, she just broke down and started weeping. Mom rushed out and tried to calm her down, and then she was crying too. And then I realize, the song was playing on the radio.

I’d seen it happen before. That stupid song comes on, the one with the whiny girl singing about how bad she wants some guy back, the one with the thumpy bass and the annoying synth noises, and the exiles just break down. They can’t handle it. We made fun of them for it.

I had to know. “What is it,” I asked, “about that song?”

They both looked at me, for a moment, like they were going to come across the counter and strangle me. Then they realized that I just didn’t know. Mom put her arm around her daughter and looked me in the eye. Her voice was steady enough that I could understand her through her accent.

She said, “That song was playing when the city fell.”

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

I really enjoy putting together playlists. Something about establishing a mood with music, then elaborating on it. There's an element of storytelling there for me - I get a lot of story ideas while listening to music, and I always visualize action to go with a song.

Here's a CD I put together recently. I looked through my collection for different shades of alternative rock and assembled them into something of a flow. Expect other playlists in the future. But for tonight, DJ Razorclown presents:

One Alternative or Another

1) Akira Ymaoka, "I Want Love"
   from The Silent Hill 3 Official Soundtrack

2) Prime STH, "On the Inside"
   from Underneath the Surface

3) Bush, "Jesus Online"
   from The Science of Things

4) Switchfoot, "This is Your Life"
   from The Beautiful Letdown

5) The Wallflowers, "One Headlight"
   from Bringing Down the Horse

6) Maroon 5, "Harder to Breathe"
   from Songs About Jane

7) Green Day, Oasis, et. al., "Boulevard of Broken Songs"

8) Foo Fighters, "New Way Home"
   from The Colour and the Shape

9) Imani Coppola, "Legend of a Cowgirl"
   from Chupacabra

10) Incubus, "Stellar"
   from Make Yourself

11) Damien Jurado, "Ohio"
   from Rehearsals for Departure

12) Prime STH, "On the Inside"
   from Underneath the Surface

13) Stone Temple Pilots, "Trippin' on a Hole in a Paper Heart"
   from Thank You

14) Gorillaz, "5/4"
   from their self-titled CD

15) Fuel, "Walk the Sky"
   from Godzilla: The Album

16) The Refreshments, "Mekong"
   from Fizzy Fuzzy Big & Buzzy

17) Sarah McLachlan, "Possession (Live)"
   from Mirrorball

18) Bush, "Letting the Cables Sleep"
   from The Science of Things

19) Cold, "Sad Happy"
   from Year of the Spider

20) Akira Ymaoka, "I Want Love (Studio Mix)"
   from The Silent Hill 3 Original Soundtrack

Monday, April 10, 2006

For once, I have an excuse for not posting recently. Ironically enough, that reason is also a good occasion for a blog post. And thus, once again, I'm left without a defense.

I started working full-time at JPlus Architects last Tuesday. It's quite an adjustment to go from relative idleness to getting up at 6 am and working over eight hours... and loving it. My time feels more precious now, which I greatly appreciate. I know I've done something in a given day, though I have much to learn about my craft.

God continues to bless. Life is good.

More to come soon!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

“You keep laughing at me,” she said, because I did. She was chuckling herself.

She had stories to tell, and I was glad to listen. She’d managed to pay for our coffee, as my female friends tended to do somehow, and there we sat - indoors in Adirondack chairs, tall coffee cups just short of spilling over. We’d last happened upon each other in the True Love Coffeehouse, not long before it evaporated. Even before then, it had been a while.

Kelly (her pseudonym for this post) and I had been friends in high school, and behold, we still were. She had lived in interesting, unforeseen ways since I last knew her well, and I struggled not to compare. I imagine myself to be an extraordinarily boring guy, when it comes right down to it, so I was more than content to listen. And as she told her stories, I laughed.

It always annoyed me in English class when irony was broken down and defined as juxtaposition: when expectation and reality are far removed from each other. But with Kelly and me, this was exactly the case. Our lives are completely dissimilar. The fact that we’re friends at all kind of baffles me, but I love it.

So, I laughed. And thankfully, she didn’t seem to mind. I hope she actually didn’t.

When she asked me what I’d been up to, I was fairly embarrassed to describe my life for the past couple of years. Whereas she has been working in politics, making contacts and advancing her career, I’ve been… well, certainly not doing that. Only recently have I found full time work, and that through a full-on conspiracy of the Holy Spirit. No kidding. The circumstances surrounding my employment are miraculous in their timing.

We talked about the times. About the various choices and circumstances that lead so many of our generation back to their parents’ houses (as I myself have done). About politics and economics. Briefly, about elephant tattoos. And we talked about old friends we had and hadn’t seen. More stories there, some wonderful, some downright depressing.

Eventually, we said goodbye for the evening. I waited for her to pull out of the narrow parking lot before I backed out of my space, still smiling. It had been a while since I had sat down and had a cup of coffee with an old friend, let alone Kelly. For all the nostalgia, the evening felt somehow new.

I worked an eight-hour day for the first time in a long time today. And I saw a dear friend I hadn’t caught up with in years.

There is a momentum shift at work in my life. I feel in plainly now. And I love it.

Praise God! who makes living worthwhile. Amen.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Here’s the difference.

Man-made gods tend not to make too many demands (not always true, mind you, but a strong tendency nonetheless). Quite the other way around. It’s man that goes to the idol with demands, and sacrifices to appease. A little blood to grease the wheels, to keep the days carefree and the crops coming in. If things get tough, throw more blood on the altar. And if things don’t improve, maybe it’s time to find a new idol.

“When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.” –Matthew 7:28-29

Jesus, on the other hand, sets standards. Draws lines. He makes demands. He says he doesn’t want sacrifices, but obedience. As it turns out, he knows our hearts, our intentions… so we can’t appease him. We can’t get away with giving him lip service, because he knows when it’s just lip service.

Idols get any power they might have from belief. If no one worships them, they’re just another ugly little sculpture. This is not true of Jesus. He does not need anything. He is the author of the universe, and that will never change, no matter what we believe.

Yet, even though he does not need us, he loves us. To the point of death, and beyond, to life again. No graven image can claim that.

The difference is, Jesus is worthy of worship. Man-made gods are not.

Apparently, this is not as obvious as it should be.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

I'm back.

Or, as Drake would say: "FINALLY! The Rock... eh, Brian... has come back to Sacramento!"

I'm currently staying at Mum's, in order to save up cash for a few months and then find a place to live.

For my new phone number, please contact me through e-mail (found on my Blogger profile), MySpace, or what have you.


Thursday, March 09, 2006

I've posted a short prose poem at Nights Awake 2.0.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

On the WWE website is a little section called Foley is Blog. As it turns out, Mick Foley (see also his profile on is an excellent writer, and something of a humanitarian. I found the February 22nd entry to be particularly inspiring, and wanted to point it out. The entire entry is good, but check out the section under the heading Herma Grace.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

I found this on Liesel's blog, and was intrigued. I've always been curious about what people really think of me. Not an uncommon thought, I'm sure. But this is an interesting device to discover just that.

Behold. The Interactive Johari Window and its counterpart, The Interactive Nohari Window.

If you decide to participate, perhaps the use of a nondescript, anonymous pseudonym would be in order. Something like "X1," so the next person can take "X2." That way, there will be no reservations about being totally honest. Just a thought.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

I've made a couple posts over at Nightsawake 2.0. Be thou informed.

Also, I'm greatly enjoying Mark Buchanan's Your God is Too Safe, a well-put-together treatise on how wild, dangerous, and loving God really is. He is, you know. Thanks, Mum. Good Christmas gift.

And finally, Amanda has introduced me to a softer world, a very artful project indeed. Please, browse the archives and find your favorites.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

I remember being advised to stay within the lines when I was coloring as a child. It’s not like anyone was trying to limit my creativity; it’s just that if you don’t stay within the lines, the picture is totally incoherent at the end. The lines blur under patches of color, and the image becomes something else.

Today, we in the modern West are presented with an increasingly abstract image. Long-familiar lines have become blurred and obscured.

The line between life and death – should it not be clear? – is disturbingly ambiguous. Medical technology permits us to prolong a failing pulse… indefinitely? How alive is the comatose woman, devastated by a car accident a decade ago, sustained only by life support? And who decides when to turn off the machines? Somewhere, there is a line between life and unlife, but where? As a nation, we still cannot agree on whether a pregnant mother carries within her an unborn child, or merely a fetus. The difference cannot be overemphasized.

Gender lines have been drawn and redrawn. A thousand maps exist, a thousand theories on who is who and why. I told a friend that I’d never met a transgender person, and she told me that I had, naming them. That, I realized, was why I’d had a problem figuring out whether they were male or female: they were in-between. Even for those who remain in their natural sex, gender roles are continually rejected and recast. Homosexuality moves into the mainstream, and the questions continue to pile up. What happens to parenting, or romance, or family, when male and female are all but interchangeable?

The private blurs more and more into the public. People worry about the prevalence of surveillance technology, the constant monitoring and tracking of their day to day lives. They then proceed to post deeply personal information – thoughts, gripes, vendettas – on the Internet. (I am sharply aware that this blog is accessible by a startling number of people throughout the world, but it seems that many bloggers are not.) While on the Internet, they can easily find descriptions, pictures, and video of the most explicit and intimate personal acts imaginable. Sex and more. This trend is reflected not only in the dark (and light) corners of the Internet, but in practically every other form of mass media. Is it permissiveness, or openness?

Truth and falsehood slip increasingly into obscurity. Spiritual beliefs have been assigned their own corner of reality: they cannot be right or wrong. Everyone believes what they believe, and everyone is right. Even if their beliefs contradict. I posed this question to a friend: if she didn’t believe in trucks, would she die if a truck hit her? “No,” she said. I hope she was an extreme example.

Change is afoot.

And the price? Confusion, at least, and on any number of levels. Loss of innocence. Some of our social experiments, I think, shall fail. All that remains to be seen is which, and how badly. Some, however will be great boons to society. I am cautiously optimistic about the advent of the blog, and the idea of bringing wide scale publishing to the masses. I think a certain level of openness on the subject of sexuality is quite healthy.

But when I read in the first chapter of Genesis about the Earth being formless and covered in darkness, I think of a world with no lines, no boundaries. Everything is permitted, supposedly. But the Holy Spirit still hovers over the face of the waters, eagerly awaiting the day when the darkness will be utterly removed, and the lines that have always been there will be undeniably clear.

Because in the end, some lines cannot be erased by man.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Every so often, there's a survey or somesuch making the blogging rounds that's worthwhile. The following is a list of questions you ask a music player set on random. Given my extensive iTunes playlist, I had to give it a shot.

In the end, it seems that iTunes is generally a poor oracle. I hope.

Here goes.

~ ~ ~

Q: What do you think of me, iTunes?
A: “A Stray Child” by Akira Ymaoka, from the Silent Hill 3 Official Soundtrack

Either I’m a street urchin, or I’m doomed to whack horrid abominations with a lead pipe. Cool.

Q: Will I have a happy life?
A: “Skyway” by the Replacements

Hmm. The song is about an imaginary transportation system. This does not bode well. And the girl gets away.

Q: What do my friends really think of me?
A: “P5hng Me A*wy” by Mike Shinoda and Stephen Richards, a remix of “Pushing Me Away” on Linkin Park’s Reanimated.

Oh, grand.

Q: Do people secretly lust after me?
A: “Tonight” by the Orange County Supertones

A song about the end of the world. So, maybe if I were the last man on Earth.

Q: What does [insert significant other] think of me?
A: “Technicolor Jackets” by Blood Has Been Shed

Whoa. A hardcore rock song. Whatever they feel, apparently they feel it strongly. The lyrics suggest that I have a lot to learn. About… something.

Q: How can I make myself happy?
A: “Stalker Goes to Babylon” by the Pillows

*laughter unto death*

Q: What should I do with my life?
A: “Good King Joy” by Trans-Siberian Orchestra, a medley of “Joy to the World,” “Good King Wenceslas,” and some blues action.

Make a joyful noise. On it.

Q: Why must life be so full of pain?
A: Track 2 on Nick Cates’ “Jesus Songs”

Amen. Heh. Y’all gotta hear Nick’s stuff. Ask me about Track 4 sometime.

Q: How can I maximize my pleasure during sex? (hey, it was on the list.)
A: “Until It Sleeps” by Metallica and the San Francisco Orchestra

*fighting back chuckles* Note not only the name of the song, but the fact that it’s fom a CD called S&M.

Q: Will I ever have children?
A: “H.” by Tool

If that’s the case, I hope not. Yeesh.

Q: Will I die happy?
A: “Prayer” by Disturbed

A resounding no.

Q: Can you give me some advice?
A: “Battle, Scene II” by the Black Mages

Cool. I’ll get my sword.

Q: Do you know where your children are?
A: “Ghost Love Score” by Nightwish

…kids! Time to come inside! KIDS? Uh, oh.
Good think I have my sword.

Q: What do you think happiness is?
A: “Sad Happy” by Cold

Dang, iTunes. You okay?

Q: What's your favorite fetish?
A: “Death Star Canteen” by Eddy Izzard

Turn-ons: Black plastic armor, asthma. (A Drake running gag.)