A collection of random, short nothings

I love when I have some sort of weird ache or pain without apparent cause but then discover the solution and feel better. It's like being a doctor, which would be gratifying, I suppose. Until you failed to discover the cause for some problem one of your patients was dealing with and had to them there was no hope for them getting better.

Today is orientation for next quarter's students. Therefore I am wearing a bow tie. I always feel more official with neck gear. It's like being a grown up and having a real job and so forth. I also tend to waste less time. Though, presently, not wasting time looks a lot like shuffling this stack of papers to that corner of my desk and back again.

You know what the problem with Biblical inerrancy is? That you have to take the Bible as it stands and somehow fit all it says together into something meaningful. There's no allowance for cultural factors and so on. As a prime example, check out this video. I stumbled onto about a week ago and I still find myself chuckling about it. Mostly the line "the editors of the NIV pee sitting down". Brilliant!

I have a lot of money left in my library coffers. I have to spend it in the next two months. I have no idea what to do. You'd think this would be easy (shopping spree!). Truth of the matter is, when your job is buying books, even buying books becomes a bit wearying. I'm thinking I'll just pocket the money. There's nothing ethically dubious about that, right?

Man, if my face were in need of spite...

When my otolaryngologist told me that, undoubtedly, I had broken my nose at some point in my past, I didn’t really believe him. I mean, sure, I had a few run-ins with things hitting me square on the sniffer, but surely nothing bad enough to cause the deviancy my septum had got up to. The one time that springs most forcibly to mind was when I was a soccer player. Yeah, I played in a rec league when I was ten or so. This was before I established my firm anti-spherical object position (this story gets more typically alea later). One of our games was held at a elementary school at the mouth of a canyon. We arrived at the field at some unearthly hour (probably 7.00 am), only to learn that the other team just wasn’t going to show up. So there we are, sleepy, freezing cold from the wind tearing out the mouth of the canyon, and opponent-less. Instead of just packing up and going home, someone thought it’d be fun to have a father-son match. We split into two teams and went at it. Things were going beautifully. That is until I made a sort of dramatic exhibit of throwing myself on the ground in frustration (see, I told you it’d be more like me later). I was cold. I was still bleary from the early rising. I was exhausted from running. So I just sort of sprawled myself down. A father, playing on the other team, got the ball at this point and, without looking, kicked it as hard as he could. Sadly, my face was in the way. Oh, and he was about a yard from me. Sure, this hurt, but I didn’t bleed or anything. I’m pretty certain the game kept going even.

I mean, other than that and various other times during sports playing, I didn’t think I’d hit my nose all that hard nor often. However, I’m beginning to wonder about my memory. In the two weeks since the surgery, I have had three nose-related accidents. The first happened when I walked into an open cupboard. Now, this might be excusable if I were rounding a corner or if someone opened it right before I hit it. Nope. I was standing, facing the cupboard for a good minute and a half, talking with my brother who was rummaging inside it. Then, for no real reason, I took a step and, whack! A nose full of maple. I blame my sketchy depth perception here. Well, and my brother, because I can.

Second time was in bed. For some reason, since my surgery I cannot sleep past 5.00 am. I always wake up, realize the time and try to get another hour and half (or three hours) of sleep before getting up for work. So, one night after waking up, I was trying to smooth my covers (I tend to spasm and twist and convulse in my sleep). My comforter was all entangled, though, so I tried the trick of pulling really hard to get it out from under me as I titled. Unfortunately, I didn’t need to yank nearly as hard as I did. So, I ended up throwing my whole body, seemingly nose-first into the wall. Let's just say I didn't end up falling back asleep that night.

The third time took place in my bed as well, making wonder about the safety of my sleeping arrangements. I have a bookshelf-headboard thing. Since it’s too full (I can never get enough shelfing), I have my dvds stacked on top. They’re in a paper box lid, so they’re stable, more or less. At least I thought they were until, once again at five o’clock, I wake up and roll over only to have a veritable cascade of hard plastic shower me with knocks and bumps. After swearing and laying stunned in pain for a moment, I stacked them up and removed them from my bed. The next morning I counted. No fewer than eleven single dvds and three boxed sets had smashed into my face. Frankly, I’m a touch surprised I didn’t bruise.

I guess I should have more faith in the judgments of my doctors. Apparently, I’m rather rough of my nose. I should bake it a cake or something. But knowing me, I'd probably bash it with the beaters as I mixed.

The pleasure it brings

I watched the film Marion Bridge last night and rather liked it. It was precisely what I want from my movies: quiet, introspective, and laced with shattered aspirations. Since it was a Canadian film, it was set in the Maritimes (I'm convinced that part of the country is over-represented in Canadian cinema. Maybe it's just an excuse to use "Song for the Mira", which is fine by me). What we basically get is segment of the lives of three sisters as they cope with the death of their mother. One of the most powerful aspects of this film is how the back story is only hinted at, mentioned briefly or in pieces. In that manner, it feels very natural.

Of course, the death of one parent is never considered enough to sustain a film, so we've also got some other things going on. The main character is a recovering addict, returned home to Sydney, NS from Toronto. Her older sister is reeling from a marriage in failure and her younger sister is totally isolated to a degree you wonder what's wrong with her. Add to the mix a daughter given up for adoption fifteen years ago, and you've got a sense of players in this movie.

About twenty minutes before the end, I realized that no men had been present in the film in any meaningful way. Molly Parker's character does get drunk once in the company of a couple of men, but they don't have more than four lines collectively. I think it's a testament to filmmaker that this conceit went almost entirely unnoticed.

At any rate, I think this is a film worth checking into.

Just talk

I really like this description of worshipping God, found in David Maine's The Preservationist. The conversation is between the daughter-in-law of Noah (the narrator) and the boat captain who has reluctantly been conscripted to ferry her menagerie across the waters back to Noah and his boat.

"Now," says Ulm, "tell me how to go about worshipping this God of yours."
"Just talk to him," I say. "It's what he seems to enjoy."
"And does He answer?"
"He is fond of riddles and double meanings, and things are seldom clear."
"Figures," says Ulm. "What do you say to Him?"
"Just let Him know you haven't forgotten Him, and tell Him thanks. He loves to hear you say thanks. He hates it when people forget that, I think, more than anything else."
"No sacrifices? Animals, prisoners, virgins?"
"Nothing like that, no."
"Nor tributes? Gold left on mountaintops, anything?"
I shake my head.

Es-que tu penses que je suis de trop pédant?

My expectactions from Entertainment Weekly are probably too high. However, they seem like they want to be the kind of a magazine that can open a story with a sentence including the phrase "fin-de-siècle". So surely they're willing to hear some criticism on the matter. If you're going to try and be clever with French phrases, stick to the same language. You cannot, as they have done in their latest issue, insert 20th into the middle of it. If you must tamper at all, you really ought to say "fin-de-XXe-siècle. The whole sentence, for the curious is "When Rent opened on Broadway in 1996, the story of young artists dealing with poverty and AIDS in fin-de-20th-siècle New York City shook the blue-haired theater scene and spawned a cult of obsessive repeat visitors known as Rentheads."

I am glad, though, that they included the accent grave.

We're number 34!

As I was driving to work today, I noticed a new billboard. At least, I think it's new. Maybe all this oxygen I'm now getting thanks to my non-deviated septum is heightening my awareness to all new levels. I'm not sure what the purpose of this billboard is, but it's advertising Sandy, the fifth-largest city in Utah. It reads: "Relax. You're in the 34th safest city in America."

Now, I can take a moment and realize there are a hundreds of cities across America and that coming in 34th is a pretty good accomplishment (even, if what it probably means is your city is also almost entirely suburban and white). However, it doesn't seem like the highest selling point, at least to me. Especially when you learn that Orem, just a twenty-five minute drive to the south is the 13th safest.

I'm guessing Sandy's not feeling much love these days, after bungling the whole Real Stadium thing and lobbying hard to get a Broadway-style theatre for "family-appropriate" touring shows. So maybe these billboards are just an attempt to feel better about themselves. The previous billboard in this spot read something about Sandy having the lowest taxes in a major city in Northern Utah or something equally arcane. So, from what we can tell, Sandy assumes the people of Utah like low taxes and gang-free neighborhoods. Don't let Draper, know, though, or they'll throw a hissy hit that'll make the whole no-DI east of the freeway look merely humorous.

In unrelated news, my sister learned this weekend, in a one-on-one conversation, that Cesarean sections are part of the adversary's plan. Because, I suppose, Satan's got a vested in interest in there being more birth-related deaths and stillborn children. I must have totally misunderstood the Plan of Salvation, or something.