Tuesday, March 31, 2009


This is my 200th ...delerium post.  It'll be a short one.

God has blessed me recently in so many ways.  Even so, it's incredibly rare to have a day where everything just goes right.  Since he and Jen both read this, let me say: thank you both for today.

Best day in a long, long time.

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Messenger: Instructions

"You knew I was coming," Phelps finally said.

Deacon Mariah smiled, the tiny creases between the thin plates of her face stretching apart.  "A dream," she said, her wispy voice purring over the "r" sound.  "Yeshua's angel."

On the transport had been a congregation of New Lunar Baptists.  After listening to their ravings over the long trip, he had almost gotten used to hearing the Christ called Jesus, rather than Yeshua.  Mariah spoke the name carefully, with reverence.  A far cry, as it were, from the proselytizers on the ship.

Phelps could already tell that Mariah spoke English only with great effort.  But a half-N'aaa priestess in this city...  "Wrri, ihhi tchaun'eh an hal," he said in Nrru.  She told me to come to you.

Mariah drew her head back in a serpentine motion, again expressing her surprise.  "And she told me to baptize you," she said simply, in unaccented Nrru.  Even as she spoke, she knelt down and took a handful of green-blue sand.

Phelps froze.  "I... wait..."

The deaconess fixed her blank gaze on him, her hand held high, gently trickling sand.  "It is unbefitting a prophet to be unbaptized.  Will you submit to it?"  She drew herself up, facing him directly.

"I'm not... look, the last time..."

Her hand was suddenly on his chest.  For a moment, he forgot that it was a common N'aaa gesture of friendship.  "Yeshua knows your fears," she was saying.  Gently.  "And he says to you this: you did not leave me there.  I went after you from that place."

The chapel, back in Phoenix.  The guilt.  He was there again.  But now, with her words - with his words - the weight of the memory evaporated.  All at once.  Gone.

Oh, Lord... "I will submit to it," Phelps breathed.

Mariah did not hesitate for even a moment.  Phelps' chest tightened as her hand drifted over his shoulders and head, pouring a trail of sand.  "You have one Lord," she said.  "What is his name?"

"Yeshua."  The sand settled on him, and with it, a strange calm.  He held still.

Silence.  In the quiet, the noise of the city far distant, he lost track of time.  Only three seconds passed, but Phelps felt every moment before she spoke again.  "And as he died, so have you," Mariah intoned.  "And..."  She stopped, took a gasp of air.  He could have sworn he heard her giggle.  "And as he lives...."

In response, Phelps tilted his head and leaned back, spilling the sand down his back.  He had barely enough time to register his suprise at how easy the ceremony was after all before the sensation hit.

It was a voice, but not audible.  A compulsion, but not irresistable.  A certainty.  A call.  A command.


Phelps hesitated for only an instant.  "Which way is north?" he demanded in Nrru.

Deacon Mariah pointed, and he ran.

Best Face Forward

You can learn a lot about people on the internet.  This, for example, is my boss's boss's professional website for her side business.

I am more keenly aware now of how what I post here represents me, particularly now that I'm employed by the church.  It's tempting to put disclaimers on all my opinions now, especially after Jen grilled/teased me about some of my earlier views on love.  Heh.

I might have to go through the archives and see what the heck I've gotten myself into.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Delicious and Nutritious

The mere existence of overstuffed breakfast pizza is not enough to cause the downfall of Western civilization. Oh, no.

The fact that I'm happy to pay three bucks for it, eat the whole thing, and wash it down with black coffee? That doesn't bode well.

See the orange in the background? That makes that mass of protein and starch in the foreground part of a balanced breakfast.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Single Step

In this picture are a few things that I just decided will decorate my new office at church. In the background, an encouraging note written to me by Greg Hogan, an awesome man who helped form my young faith. On the left, two paper cranes, folded by Lindsey Ballard for a classmate with cancer. Little symbols of love and hope, with an Asian flair, no less.

The cross on the foreground was also a gift, specifically to decorate the office. It quotes Jeremiah 29:11-13 - to which I was specifically guided recently - and Psalm 32:8. Featured prominently is the word "Journey," which is not only a great reminder that I am a work in progress, but also reminds me of Sojourn. A perfect gift.

From my girlfriend.

You'll be hearing more about this girl. For now, I'll say this: her name is Jen, and she's amazing.

Today turned out to be pretty good after all.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Open Book

[tonight, an excerpt from this evening's journal entry.  a couple items have been redacted for privacy.

my journaling is sporadic, but it shouldn't be.  i get the very distinct impression that God is pleased when i take the time to write out my prayers to Him and chronicle my life for future reference.  came in handy tonight, which explains the first line.]

It's good you have me write this stuff down. Thank you.

I'm really tired, Lord. Just physically. If you want me to stay up and study more, spur me on. But my plan right now is to write a blog post, read through Acts some more… wait, why not that passage in 1 Cor that I've been quoting, but haven't gone back to? Geez. So there, and then probably some Acts. Then sleep.

Bless Nicole's job situation, Lord. Arrange it how you will. Mmm. I'm sorry for not praying for it earlier today. I pray that you bless her even now.

I'm really happy with my life right now, Lord. Thank you for that. You're so generous. I know I don't deserve any of this. And I'm not doing very well with what you've given me. But Lord, may I make you proud with what I do with the blessings you're giving me. The job at church, my friends, my time, everything. My every dream and my every resource.

[scatterbrained, vaguely ashamed, yet grateful and somewhat worshipful.  that's me.]

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Messenger: Introductions

St. Luke's Temple was not what Phelps had in mind.  It took him two hours to make the 20-minute walk through New Sidon; two hours of feeble excuses rehearsed over and over, none of which could overcome the weight of the apparition outside the transport window.  He had paced back and forth over the same three blocks, bumping constantly into traders and pilots, and eliciting curses in a dozen languages.  With his training, he could have understood them all, had he been less distracted.

When he finally arrived at the Temple, he thought he might be in the wrong place.

It stood in a gap between two tall pseudocrete buildings, one gaudy orange, the other a matte white.  He had not been thinking of a temple in the N'aaa fashion, certainly not for a temple to Christ.  But there it was, the unwalled patch of blue-green sand, the surface fused into glass and polished.  Like a calm, rolling sea of Earth, frozen between instants.  On the back left corner of the patch sat the arrangement of transluscent red stones, as expected.  But, Phelps noticed with a start, they depicted not the traditional N'aaaian sacred runes, but a cross.

He was about to step onto the undulating glass when he heard the voice.

"Rrrraun i'i'al-hn-cta'i."

The only N'aaa phrase he knew.  Phelps looked down and tried unsuccessfully to hide his surprise at the creature who had addressed him.  She wore a blindfold, a single, wide band of dark green cloth which covered where her nose would be if she were human.  Or rather, full human.  Her skin was more like a carapace - deep brown, with bright white dots like freckles - and her scalp smooth and hairless.  She had four thin fingers on each hand, all of which ended in claws.

And the collar of her polyfiber vest was distinct in its round design.  She was clergy.  A deacon.

"...Deacon Mariah?" he said, mumbled and at a whisper.

The half-N'aaa priestess thrust forward her head in surprise.  Then, she smiled.  "Fel-uufs.  Hallelu."

And once again, Phelps had no words.

Monday, March 23, 2009


It's a room of adequate size, with a single window looking out on the
hill behind the church. Until this afternoon, it was full of stacks
of chairs. The carpet is thick and gray, the walls white and covered
with taped-up Sunday School posters. The desk in the picture is a
very recent addition, scavaged hastily from another room.

When Michael showed me this little room, I got pretty excited. Why?

Because this is my office. And this, my friends, is a "before" picture.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


I'm not sure who ever thought procrastination was a good idea.  Certainly hasn't done me any good yet.

The reason I put off things I have to do is because I don't want to put in the effort to get them done at the moment.  I'd rather rest and be comfortable now, and work later.  But that's not how it works.  When I'm putting something off, I know I'm putting it off.  What supposed rest I gain from procrastination isn't that restful, because worrying about getting something done takes a lot of energy - maybe more than just getting done the task at hand.

This is yesterday's blog post, by the way.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Fridays are my days of least discipline, sometimes intentionally, sometimes not.

I'd like to say I'm taking a Sabbath rest on Friday evenings, but like I said, it's not a normal, intentional thing I do.  It may be in the future, but now, it depends very much on what's on my calendar.

The Jews were commanded in strict terms to do no work on the seventh day, but instead to rest and reflect on God.  Saturday was the seventh day day of their week, so one could infer that the weekend is ordained by God.  Heh.

Michael discussed the Sabbath with the college group once, and made a very interesting point.  Our lives are increasingly busy, our calendars inordinately full.  The Sabbath rest is an opportunity to just let go for a few hours, and acknowledge that God really is in control.  To demonstrate that life doesn't fall apart when we take our hands off.

I think I should re-examine how I lay out my weekends.  I'd really like to not just take time to rest and have fun, but really display that principle of trust in my life.  Part of the issue is time management, part of it faith.  That's a blend that confounds me, sometimes.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Messenger

"This is impossible," Phelps mumbled inaudibly, pressing himself against the wall opposite the window.

The woman floating outside the window nodded, her arms crossed over her chest.  "It is."  Her voice was in no way muffled by the thick transparent barrier between them.

"How are you-"

"When you arrive in New Sidon, go directly to St. Luke's Temple.  There you will meet Deacon Mariah.  She will give you your instructions."

Phelps gawked at her, mind racing.

Then, she smiled.  "Farewell, prophet."

"Wait!  Wh-"

"All passengers, please secure yourselves for landing.  We will reach the outer atmosphere shortly.  Arrival in New Tyre will be 7:00 am, local time."

Phelps looked up involuntarily at the intercom announcement, then looked back to the window to see nothing but stars.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

When As Yet There Were None

 For you formed my inward parts;
 you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. 
 Wonderful are your works;
 my soul knows it very well.
 My frame was not hidden from you,
 when I was being made in secret,
 intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
 in your book were written, every one of them,
 the days that were formed for me,
 when as yet there were none of them.

Psalms 139:13-16 (ESV)

If you drew hard theology from this passage, you might make some conclusions about predestination and free will.  But this is a poem.  A song.  That's what a Psalm is.  It's not the best place to determine the specific workings of the spiritual.  It is, however, the perfect place to learn to worship.

Sometimes God makes right turns.  We think we know exactly where He's headed, and the path He'll take us along to get there.  One thing you learn quickly when you try to follow God is that He loves off-roading.

Even though He's God, it's really easy to get annoyed at Him.  To doubt Him.  We get awfully attached to our own visions of our own lives, and when He - politely or not - informs us that He has a different vision, we tend to get up in arms.

In Psalm 139, David recognizes what we so readily forget.  A simple fact that changes everything when we actually believe it.

God loves us, and He knows what He's doing.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Commence Wailing

I've been listening to a lot of emo lately.  Not the acoustic guitar and whiny vocals variety, no.  More the big rock guitars, good beats, and whiny vocals variety.  I'm kinda surprised at myself.

See, when I first heard Fall Out Boy's "Sugar, We're Going Down," I realized that there was a new movement in music that I hated.  I hated it before it was a genre.  You could hear it coming in "Warning" by Incubus, for example.  The wailing vocal parts, sometimes atypical rhythms, lack of rhyme, things like that.  Eventually there were more and more songs with these long run-on sentences for titles, and all these clever lyrics.  When you're trying to be clever, it's really hard not to be annoying.

The first crack in my annoyance came when I saw the video for Fall Out Boy's "This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race."  Again, long song name and lyrics that were clever to the point of being pushy... but the beat!  The song gets a good sort of Michael Jackson vibe going, then breaks into a fast pop-punk chorus, and it all works together.

Then, I played Prey.  Very well done, very innovative video game.  Beat the final boss, watched the denouement, and the credits begin to roll.  Over the credits plays "Take Me Home" by After Midnight Project, and I realize with a shock that it's definitely an emo song, and I definitely don't hate it.  The beat is steady and insistent, the guitar work skillful, the vocals emotive.  Then the chorus hits, and everything soars.

The thing about emo is that there's a much greater variety within the genre than I originally thought.  Songs like "Coffee's for Closers" by Fall Out Boy and "Welcome to the Black Parade" by My Chemical Romance are impressive for the sheer number of disparate elements coming together to make a good song.  Sometimes the depressing / bitter lyrics are coming at you in a major key.  Sometimes there are techno elements, sometimes horns.

I've found a lot of stuff I like through Pandora.  If you're curious, you can find other songs I like on this station.

Monday, March 16, 2009


A titan, curled in on himself.

A giant, eyes clenched tight.

In the corner of his dripping eye, the stars.

Were he to stand, could he reach them?

Could he have them?

Knees drawn, face to earth, he whimpers.

"A thousand million choices,

all wrong."

And so the lights remain distant as dreams,

the earth no brighter.

(not a very good poem, I don't think, but an illustration nonetheless of somewhere i've been off and on for a while.  feeling much better now, having talked to and prayed with my pastor.  i recommend it.)

Sunday, March 15, 2009


I think there may be a bit if a backhanded upside to our current economic situation.

The whole mortgage crisis and the credit crunch are awfully complex. People talk of good debt turned bad, of banks that aren't intetested in foreclosing on homes, of spending billions of taxpayer dollars to help failing businesses. Who knew who Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were before all this started? And who among them knew they were government agencies?

A lot of the problems apparently came from very sophisticated financial commodities. Some problems were more simple: people weren't able to pay their debt. A story on National Public Radio noted that the current total indebtedness of the American people is now at the level of the Gross National Product. The only other recorded time that happened? Just before the Great Depression.

My hope is that this crisis will get our attention. We've gotten awfully comfortable with debt as a culture, with myself as an example. I, for one, intend to maintain relative financial simplicity. To start living more strictly within my means, even if that means - gasp - lowering my standard of living a little.

Some of you think that's a really obvious choice. I think it's an oddly foreign concept to my generation. Maybe this is our chance to get our priorities straight.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Keyed Up

Ack! Missed a post. I'll double up today. Storytime.

Yesterday, I found myself getting very nervous, quite stressed out.  There was something on my mind that would have made me anxious anyway, but in the process of trying to calm myself down, I realized something.

Thus far that day, I'd consumed a large cup of coffee and two sugary pastries.  I'd been listening to punk rock - highly aggressive, noisy, intense music - for around four hours straight.  And I was sitting in front of my computer the whole time, typing, with my shoulders bunched up from my elbows resting on the chair's arms, craning my neck at the papers on my desk, then staring at my glaring backlit monitor.

Whether or not my issue du jour was worth worrying about, my environment was of no help.

So I had lunch with a friend, outside in the sunshine.  Very helpful.  Funny enough, during the course of the conversation, I chuckled, gave her a reassuring little scratch on the back, and told her, "my dear, you gotta learn to relax."

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Sloth: Not the Mammal

My entry tonight is just my notes from tonight's Bible study. Ashley's
lesson could have been written specifically for me.

2 Thess 3:6-13
-do not grow weary of doing good.

Idleness. Aimlessness. (sloth.)
-is not Christlike.
-is appealing, and influential to others.
-1 thess 5:14 - admonish the idle
-doesn't mix with initiative.
-God isn't into gray areas.
-is unfruitful by nature.
-drains away integrity.
-is not defeated merely by intent, but by action.
-is hypocritical.
-Take up your cross and follow me.
-drains resources and contributes nothing.
-hinders God's work.
-neuters our calling.

Am I occupied with God's purpose?
What do I have to show for my work?
What's coming out of my mouth? (aha.)
-Defensive? Judgmental? Gossip?

"There's no unemployment for spirituality." -Shane

Gal. 6:9 - at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not
give up.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Apply Directly to Your Brrrrraaaaaiiiiinnns

The ironic thing is, Nazi Zombies is just the prize you get for beating Call of Duty: World at War, and it's arguably more engrossing than the main game. Below is an audio clip of Cody and Drake playing.

I'm just impressed with myself for getting the mp3 player to work on this site. This whole audio blog thing is an experiment. If it's not completely annoying, I may do more such posts in the future. Click the play button below to enjoy!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Scatterer

18 "Hear then the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. 20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. 22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 23 As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty." 

-Matthew 13:18-23 (ESV)

Above is Jesus' explanation of a the Parable of the Sower, a story he uses to describe how people respond to his teaching.  In most preaching I've heard on this section of the Bible, the emphasis has been on the different types of soil as different types of people that hear the Christian message.  A common observation is that the sower scatters the seed regardless of the quality of the soil, and we should do likewise, rather than attempting to pre-judge what someone's reaction will be.

That's a valuable point.  When I read this parable tonight, though, I saw another possible interpretation.  It's a new thought to me, but I can't imagine it's a new thought.

Let's shift the focus to the sower, the one scattering the seed.  What is he doing throwing seed on the walking path, or among rocks, or in patches of thorns?  That's sloppy farming.  Ideally, he should get all the seed into fertile soil.

Now, Jesus says the seed on the path symbolizes someone hearing the Word, but not understanding it.  Consider this: ever feel lost when someone tries to explain their religion?  Ever get utterly confused by Christianese words that obviously mean something to the person saying them, but not to you?

I'm wondering if this parable could be not just a reminder to scatter seed, but a guide on how to do it well.

If Christians don't preach in terms that people can understand, it's like throwing good seed on the walking path: ineffective.  If we lead people to become Christians, but don't aid them in deepening their faith afterwards, their faith will be in danger when life gets tough.  If we don't encourage new converts to really follow Jesus' teaching in day-to-day life, they'll be just as distracted and distraught by unhealthy desires as they were before they were Christians, if not more so.

Could be.

Monday, March 09, 2009


There are a few stories in the Bible I can hardly finish telling without choking up.

Jesus took two of his disciples, two of his closest friends, up on a mountaintop with him.  There, the Bible says that as they watch, Jesus illuminates, literally glowing, and two long-dead prophets appear to speak with him.  Completely awestruck and terrified, words fail.  The men are surrounded by a cloud, from which the voice of God the Father boom.  Then, silence.  They look around.  Just Jesus.  In my mind, this is where Jesus grins and starts walking nonchalantly down the hill, then looks over his shoulder at them and says, "Well?  You coming?"

Here's the part of the story where I have trouble talking.

They get to the bottom of the hill, and they hear arguing.  There's a man there, with his son.  The religious leaders and Jesus' followers are shouting back and forth, but when they see Jesus, they come running.  It turns out the man brought his son to Jesus' disciples to be healed of his seizures.  The disciples tried, and failed.  As Jesus watches, the boy falls to the ground, convulsing violently.  In the midst of all the turmoil, with the crowd looking on, the father says, "If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us."

"If?" Jesus says.  He tells him, "Everything is possible for him who believes."

Here is the father's response, as recorded in Mark 9:24:

Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!"

That's me.  I know that place.

If you've ever had your trust betrayed, you know.  If you've ever been wearied by disappointment, you know.  If you've been reduced to hope without expectation, you know what he meant.  If you've been given every reason to doubt, you understand.

So, what does Jesus do with this man?  With this broken, hopeless, desperate man?

He grants both his requests.

I pray we never stop at doubt.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Plot Twists

These days, I consistently feel a little shock of panic when I see the date. Time is always moving forward a little too fast.  I think I would be less fearful if I had better time management skills.

Today, all I really did was read Watchmen.  Cody loaned me his copy late last night, and I got a few pages in before a late bedtime.  Got up nice and late, and my mid-afternoon, I was well over halfway through.  Running out of a few household essentials - food among them - necessitated a trip to the store, which required me to change out of my PJs.

With my nightly Bible reading a blog post still to do, I was closing in on the ending when the phone rang.  Turns out the person who was going to teach Sunday School tomorrow is sick, and in the end, it fell to me to prepare something for tomorrow morning.  With a small number of teachers available and the number of things we have going on - Sunday School, children's ministry, and a mission committee meeting - situations like this will arise very occasionally.

Michael tells us to keep something ready to teach, just in case.  "Have something in your pocket" is how he puts it.  When the call came, I thought I had nothing.  After a browse through my journals and notes, however, a plan has formed.  Those few minutes of panic, however, called me to account.

So, I'm going to work on translating whatever mental discipline allows me to read an inch-thick graphic novel in a day into my study time, my devotions, and my prayers.  I already have that kind of focus in one area, and I want it in another.  I'll be working on that.

Dude, Who Shot Me?

Once again, the boys gathered at Pastor Holmes' place to play Call of Duty on the XBox. This is the second time just recently that I've had a laugh-out-loud good time with a group of guy friends pretending to shoot each other. The girls tend to leave the room.

The Call of Duty series, and other games like it, offers two things guys love: violence and competition. There's some odd appeal to launching a grenade far across a field to land at your friend's feet, who you didn't even see, but who would have done the same to you if he had the chance. I also appreciate that while the games have big, loud guns, the gore is quite minimal. The latest installment ramps it up quite a bit, but it's still fantasy violence, where only your pride gets hurt when you get shotgunned.

Really, it's not to be overthought. It's just dang fun.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Of Dogs

Tonight was another amazing night at Bible study. Ashley's lesson was out of Mark 7:24-30, one of the most challenging passages in the Bible. In it, Jesus miraculously heals a pagan woman's daughter because she comes to him with extreme humility. It's a very deep story, with a lot of cultural and historical subtleties - which, in the context of the original story, weren't subtle at all. We focused mainly on two ideas: that Jesus offends the proud, but shows mercy on the humble.

I tend to be less humble with my desires and more passive-aggressive. If I want something I don't have, I'll more often settle into feelings of entitlement and self-pity rather than going to the God who loves me and asking, knowing that He's already given me more good things than I deserve. I really should know better by now. Especially with the way God has been answering prayer at Crossroads.

"You want something but don't get it," James writes. "You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures." (James 4:2-3)

It's easy for me to remember that I'm the scum of the earth, and I deserve death over blessing. I just can't seem to keep that fact and this one in my head at the same time: God is gracious, generous and, again, actually loves me. One or the other, I can comprehend with no problem. But the two ideas don't go together in my head, because of my backwards, performance-based concept of love.

Humility is both recognizing oneself as broken, and accepting the love offered by a perfect God.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

A New Twist on an Old Favorite

Some of you hypothetical readers may have guessed my intent by now. I plan to write a post on this blog every day for Lent, Sundays excluded. But you're supposed to give something up, right? Really, I'm giving up my excuses not to write.

Why this for the season leading up to Easter? Why not fast, as others do?

As I see it, the very idea of fasting for Lent is to honor Jesus' sacrifice by making a token sacrifice of our own. And the point of any religious observance should be to intentionally draw closer to God. Not only is writing daily a sacrifice of time and effort, but I believe it will help my relationship with God. It will take discipline, which I know he wants me to develop. Then there's the fact that I think I was built for it.

There's this idea deeply rooted in Christianity that each of us was created with a specific purpose in mind. I can't shake the feeling that writing is part of my purpose. I got a little chill as I wrote that last sentence. I really want to find out how I can serve God with what writing ability I have, whether it be explaining theology or merely piecing words together for the sake of beauty. Or telling fanciful stories that ring true. Definitely got a chill as I wrote that.

Some fiction. Some essays. Maybe a couple poems, and a couple life updates. The posts will be varied, and only a few will be about Easter. But Lent is the reason for the flood of content. Instead of giving something up this year, I'm taking something on.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

I Don't Remember Asking

I've observed that we Americans are connoisseurs of everything. I've actually had conversations with people about which restaurant's soda fountain has the best mix of syrup and water. On a couple occasions. With different people.

It's easy to see how a highly affluent consumer culture can lead to that kind of gourmet thinking. Amusing though it may be, there's another side that I feel is getting a little out of control. I see it in myself, and pretty much everyone else I know. We're all seasoned consumers. It takes some doing to impress some of us.

And we're all critics.

I just caught up on Heroes, which I thoroughly enjoy. There were a few moments during the latest episode, though, where I shook my head in scorn. "They're using that scene transition? Seriously? Oh, that line was horrible." And so on. I've discussed Sylar's character arc with a few people, and voiced my extreme displeasure with some of the choices the writers have made.

I feel as though I'm somehow qualified to criticize because I've consumed an awful lot of stories, including more than a few superhero stories. I've even written... uh... well, something. Anyway, I feel qualified.

However I may feel, though, I'm not the one who built the characters and their world, cranked out a script, pitched the idea well enough to actually sell it, signed a contract with Universal, and got my material broadcast into millions of homes.

I guess I just wanted to take a second to recognize that, while I might have my opinions and preferences, my writing isn't driving the careers of an entire cast of actors. I will admit, I'm hoping that might change someday.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Reasonable Certainty

Torrents and tides we can predict, and give fair warning to

the misfortunate body-affixed souls in their paths

- unless a levy break, or the ocean floor heave

dislodging peace with water -

to put height or solid shelter between their

fragility and the crush.

And yet the treacherous fluid motion

the steaming reaction of clashing humours

the drunken roll and pitch

the self-afflicted heaving

the mind-blank, roaring, rigor mortis clutch

of the desire of woman and man

breaks all models

leaving behind shards, and blood.