Gradschool: A Day in the Life

And I didn’t even have class today.  I’m trying a new experiment, where I get up at the same time on my off days as I do on my class days.  A 12-hour work-day?  You be the judge. 

7am wake-up, breakfast

8am prioritize, figure out that I forgot to buy 12 books, start translating Greek

9am – 11am more Greek

11am – meditation/nap

12pm – lunch + Arrested Development (Season 3)

1pm – dishes, run, shower, shave

2pm – speed read

2:50pm – Halo 

3pm – more reading

4pm – still reading

5pm – groceries, make dinner

6pm – eat dinner, more AD3

7pm – catalogue every German theologian in the past 200 years, chase the sunset

8pm – email/blog/order those books I forgot

9pm – phone calls, more AD3

10pm – bed

11:30pm – fall asleep

Published in: on August 30, 2007 at 7:09 pm  Comments (2)  

The First Day of School

Through windows wide the coolness crept, swept me onto my feet for the blinding brightness of day.  Open mind, blank slate, open arms, full plate, I swaggered, soon staggered into the rest of my life.

Published in: on August 28, 2007 at 7:33 pm  Leave a Comment  

Pride Comes Before Redemption… Sometimes

Bad things have a way of being twisted versions of something good.  Take pride, for example.  There’s good pride, and then there’s bad pride.

 Good pride is the opposite of shame.  “I’m proud of you!” says your mother.  “I take pride in my work,” says an earnest student.  “You should be proud of your roots,” says your grandfather.  Such pride is rooted in self-respect and self-confidence.  I wish we all had pride like that.

 Then there’s bad pride, which is the opposite of humility.  As in “I am a proud person” and “pride comes before a fall.”  She’s “prideful.”  Such pride is like vanity in both senses: it’s useless (old sense of vanity), and it’s self-absorbed (as in “you’re so vain”).  Such pride destroys because in it we elevate our own identities and contributions to the expense of others.  Aloof, too proud to ask for help, too proud to care.

For all of it’s predictable cheesiness, the film Pride vividly depicts almost all of the characters transitioning from the latter to the former.  Plus, when was the last time someone made a decent movie about swimming?

The State of the President

George W. Bush is a person.  Some people think that he is evil or stupid.  A dwindling number of people think that he is the Man with the Master Plan.  But what if he’s just some dude…

1… who knew what to say at the right time to get himself to the top (Rove helped)

2… whose greatest fault might be that he’s so damn sure of himself (used to be endearing)

3… who never learned to admit a mistake (WMD)

4… and who, at the end of the day, may find himself very, very alone?  (Even Rove has resigned now)

The hopes and dreams of the right-wing Christian conspiracy were vested in him.  What do we have to show for it?

Bush is not a man to hate, much less a man to envy.  But a man to pity and to pray for, to be sure.  God have mercy on the man (or woman) who inherits those shoes.  God have mercy on us all.

All I Need to Know About Following Jesus I Learned From Spy Movies

Know how to keep a secret.  Without that, there is no true friendship, no true intimacy.

Know how to tell the truth.

Believe in your cause.

Be willing to do whatever it takes to fulfill your mission.

Published in: on August 26, 2007 at 8:01 pm  Leave a Comment  


I said I never would, but here I am, fixated by facebook.  One more e-habit to kick.  It sucks you in, offering flimsy connections to solid friends (and solid connections to flimsy friends?).  What will they think of next?  And how long will it take before I cave in?

TMV: Too Much Vacation?

I did not think that it was possible, but I think that I have officially achieved a state of “too much vacation.”  Now, after five full weeks of relative aimlessness and life without routine, I am very ready to return to business as usual.  Or start business as usual.

 Don’t get me wrong.  I’ve been mildly productive.  And each day I find new ways to better myself and humanity (educational podcasts!).  But Sabbath was meant to be once a week.  If you’re not really working, then you’re never really resting, either, because you have nothing to rest from.

And they wonder why some people freak out in retirement.

The King as King of Kings

The Sacred Heart of Elvis

If a picture speaks a thousand words… I don’t know what this one is saying.

Have you ever googled some zany combination like “Jesus Elvis”?  This is what I got.

I can’t claim to understand the whole Elvis phenomenon.  Now I can claim to understand it even less.

“Hung-over” with Hilarity… in a Jaded Sort of Way

My Arrested Development binge has coincided with my Scrosese binge.  I’m half-way through AR season two, and I’ve watched Raging Bull, Goodfellas, and The Departed.  If I were a drinking man — which I can’t be, because of my bipolar meds — I’d say it was something like mixing strawberry daquiris with tequila shots.

(Incidentally, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with other people drinking, just with being drunk.)

This could be more disorienting than the Christmas when I read nothing but Flannery O’Connor short stories and stopped trusting anything that strangers said for the next month.  Even the dude at the airport who claimed to be the kid from Problem Child.

Life is funny right now.  I can’t take myself too seriously.  Not with Ron Howard’s 3rd person narration running through my head, describing my every move.  And I’m somehow expecting everyone to get screwed in the end.  But that’s Scorsese, not me, and not God talking.  I’ve got to be careful who I listen to.

The Black Godfather

Denzel Washington – Jerry Bruckheimer + Ridley Scott = awesome?

There has long been an empty slot on my DVD shelf waiting for Denzel’s best movie.  It’s not that he hasn’t made some great ones.  But Man on Fire was too jumpy and Deja Vu was too cheesy and superficial.  Maybe my problem is Denzel’s directors.

Ridley Scott could change all that.  He is best known for his work on Gladiator and Alien.  In November, he will release American Gangster, starring Washington and based on a true story.  Hollywood has given us plenty of high profile examples of the Italian-American alpha male ruling the streets of America.  In recent memory, there have even been a few Irish-American stand-outs (Boondock Saints, The Departed).  But we Black folk have had a while to wait.  Until now.

Don’t get me wrong.  Heroin is bad business.  Or it’s good business, but for the wrong reasons.  Crime is bad, but if I’m going to see it on screen, I want to see it done right.  This time, I think the recipe is just right.

Plus, the script is by the man who wrote the script for Schindler’s List.

Published in: on August 15, 2007 at 9:05 pm  Comments (2)