Random Thoughts on a Sunday Afternoon, Episode Six

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Louisville Kentucky1. If anyone has been keeping track, they will have noticed that I haven’t written many blog posts over the past few weeks. There are several reasons for this, many of which are quite predictable and include a lack of free time and an excessive amount of stuff to do during these infrequent bouts of free time. (For example, I spent the last three days in Louisville, Kentucky, at an academic conference. That is why the five pictures included in this blog post all show scenes from downtown Louisville. For the record, they were all taken by me between about 11:30 AM and noon on Friday, April 5.) Despite the aforementioned fact that I have not posted much on my blog lately, I would like the record to show that I had started many things that were intended to become blog posts, including some potentially good ones for Holy Saturday, Easter Sunday, and April Fools’ Day aka The First Day of Baseball Season. The Holy Saturday one was practically finished, too, so I’m kind of annoyed with myself for not going ahead and finishing it on time. However, I can now inform you that I actually have two finished drafts, so I actually can promise at least two new blog posts after this one in the relatively near future.

2. (Added much later in the day) I would just like to stick a disclaimer here and say that I haven’t really read through much of this after typing it, so it is going to be even more random and disjointed than usual, and probably will contain many typos. Sorry ‘bout that, but I’m not going to actually get around to posting this if I take the time to edit it.

Louisville Kentucky3. After church this morning, I stopped at Wal Mart to pick up some hand soap and some band-aids.  For some reason, these are both products that are challenging to find. The hand soap was somewhat easier, but the band-aids greatly baffled me. They had gauze bandages and little circular band-aids, they had band-aids with pictures of cartoon characters and specially shaped band-aids and water-proof band-aids and special non-stick band-aids for sensitive skin. But they didn’t have regular band-aids. All I wanted was the kind of band-aids that you put on your toe to keep it from bleeding in dance class. But they didn’t have that kind of band-aid, so instead, I got absorbent non-stick band-aids with comfortable fabric that stretches with movement and innovative adhesive that stays on long without irritating the skin. So the box tells me. It seemed like the closest thing to normal band-aids that I could find.

4. Today, as I left my dorm to go get food, people stared at me. This was not surprising, given the fact that I was wearing black boots, blue-and-white socks that went up just barely past the top of the boots, a fairly formal purple floral skirt, a very casual T-shirt, and the earrings and necklace I had worn to church this morning. I fear that I may have committed some kind of fashion crime.

Louisville Kentucky5. It struck me as being very interesting that in today’s gospel reading, (John 20:19-31) Jesus identifies himself first to the group of disciples and then to Thomas by showing them his hands and side, where he bears marks from the crucifixion. I have always been puzzled by the fact that, after the resurrection, people who knew Jesus keep on not recognizing him, but it’s cool to note that even the very first Christians recognized Christ by His sacrifice for them; the crucifixion was the foundation for their faith. Another fascinating thing along the same lines is Luke 24:13-35, the part where Jesus talks to two disciples on the road to Emmaus. They come to realize who Jesus is and to understand what he has done when he first explains the scriptures to them and then breaks bread and gives it to them. It’s Word and Sacrament.

6. I wish I was doing a jigsaw puzzle today. Given the fact that it’s 4:30 in the afternoon and I have yet to accomplish enough stuff to justify the existence of this day, I can’t really take the time to start one now. But a jigsaw puzzle seems like a fun thing to do right now, and besides, I have the feeling that there are many rambling thoughts I need to be thinking, and jigsaw puzzles are good things to do while thinking rambling thoughts. Unfortunately, I don’t really have time for rambling thoughts right now, either. That’s problematic, because it’s really hard to think organized thoughts when my brain is in rambling-thought mode.

Louisville Kentucky7. My hands smell like early December. It’s this new hand soap; I like its scent much better than the previous hand soap, but it seems all wrong for April. This anomaly in time disorients and confuses me.

8. Maybe this is just some kind of senioritis thing, but I have lately found myself having a very hard time distinguishing between reality and imagination. Just a minute ago, I suddenly and randomly remembered a certain recent conversation, but I couldn’t remember whether it was in real life, a dream, a movie, or just my imagination. I couldn’t even remember who the other person was. It doesn’t help that I’m taking a class in postmodernism, and some part of my mind is fascinated by the question of what constitutes reality.

Louisville Kentucky9. Along the same lines, I have noticed something very odd about college life. This is especially true of my current phase of college life, in which I am trying to figure out what in the name of Galoompa is going to happen after I graduate. Anything that has to do with “the real world”- looking into financial aid, jobs, places to live, etc .- involves sitting around and staring at a computer screen. Likewise, homework either involves computers or books. But when I step away from all of that and do something like running away to a certain secret hiding place and flipping over logs to look at the bugs underneath them, or driving in a literally real car on a literally real road, I can guarantee that everything happening in my head is abstract and/or imaginary. If I’m not pondering hypothetical questions or reliving conversations that never actually happened, I’m probably making up stories or determining details of some imaginary fantasy world. So “the real world” apparently exists only in my computer, and imagination apparently exists only in the outside world. The question is which reality is real, or rather, in which reality I am real. And the other question is, whether I’m actually trying to find reality or hide from reality.

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Random Thoughts on a Sunday Afternoon, Episode Five

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1. I have noticed an interesting pattern. Today is the third consecutive Sunday that the weather has been absolutely gorgeous despite having been less than satisfactory previously. Yesterday, it was dreary and cold and cloudy with flurries in the morning. I am in favor of snow, but ‘round these parts, early March is supposed to be springtime. I would have enjoyed the snow anyway if there had been very much of it or if it had actually stayed on the ground, but that wasn’t what happened. It wasn’t pretty or fun; it was just interesting, and anything good about it was outweighed by the annoyance of the cold. But when I woke up this morning, it was a bit warmer, and the clouds had mostly dissipated. They’re totally gone now, and the sky is blue. The view out my window isn’t nearly as pretty as it would be if there were leaves on the trees, but it still is quite nice. The birds are singing and the pale green grass reminds me of the fields of Settlers of Catan. Spellcheck tells me that Catan isn’t a real word. Silly spellcheck.

2. Just for the record, I would like to say that the people with whom I go to church are awesome people.

typos3. I really hate it when I catch typos in things I’ve already posted online. Fortunately, wordpress allows me to go back and edit things after I’ve posted them, and I frequently do post things before proofreading them, and then spend significant amounts of time making sure there aren’t any grammatical errors or typos. I didn’t do that for the one I posted last night, and now I notice that there are several mistakes. I could go back and fix them, but I have an inexplicable personal rule against editing something I posted online more than a couple hours ago. Either I have to break that rule, or those mistakes will stay there, tormenting me for all time. Actually, there’s another option. I could pretend that I did it on purpose and that it’s a game. Any grammar Nazis reading this are thereby invited to go back to my previous post (The one about the song Bohemian Rhapsody), make a list of the mistakes, and then put that list in the comments for this post. I don’t know how many there are, and you might catch some that I’ve missed every time I’ve looked. I kind of expect that nobody will actually participate in this game, but if anybody does, whoever finds the most mistakes wins. Sorry, there’s no prize, unless the satisfaction of grammatical superiority is its own reward.

Alas! And Did My Savior Bleed4. As of now, at 1:37 in the afternoon, the song going through my head is Alas! And Did My Savior Bleed. We did not sing this hymn at church today, nor did I sing it in the car on the way back. But since it’s a Lenten hymn, it is entirely appropriate for today anyway.

5. It’s a little weird how often people tell me I’m smart. While it’s true that my IQ is above average and my grades aren’t bad, it’s also true that I have difficulties telling my right from my left and am frequently too stupid to go inside when it rains. I think that the truth of the matter is just that I have a number of friends and acquaintances who are more aware of my strong points than my idiotic idiosyncrasies. But I guess I let that get to my head a little bit, because I’m kind of in the habit of considering myself to be unusually intelligent. I hope I’m not a conceited know-it-all. I don’t think I am, but that probably is one of those things that people can’t accurately judge about themselves.

6. I really hate it when I make one stupid move that loses the game. I was even thinking the right move while I did the stupid move. It was just so obvious that I was supposed to take the knight with my queen, because that knight wasn’t even protected, but instead I stupidly moved my king out of the knight’s check, and because of that, I lost my rook a couple moves later. Now I’m going to be annoyed at myself for this for the rest of the day.

chess game7. Well, that was an interesting game. And by “interesting” I mean “black really made some serious blunders there”, except that “black really made some serious blunders there” isn’t an adjective, so it doesn’t fit into the context very well. I have decided that if I was black, I would have played Nc6 in that situation. Alternatively, Be7 would have also prevented immediate checkmate. But black obviously didn’t notice either of those possibilities, because he moved his queen to a useless place and I checkmated with Qd8 in the next move. I also won the next two games, and they were both better games in the sense that no really bad mistakes were made, and so I earned those wins.

(EDIT: Not Nc6, duh. Stupid Self. It would have to be Be7.)

8. I am truly excited about the final paper I’m going to write for my postmodernism class. It’s going to be called “και ο λογος σαρξ εγενετο: Postmodernism vs. Logocentrism”. (The only problem is that I obviously want to say theological stuff in it, and I know that’s really not what the professor is looking for.) But first, I have to get through midterms. And before that, (right now, in fact) I have to do my math homework for the next two days.

Princess Bride9. A disturbing has just happened to me. I have just realized that there is a plot hole in The Princess Bride. (Inconceivable!) Two, actually, although they’re so closely related that I think they count as the same one. First, when Fezzik finds Inigo Montoya, he tells him about Vizzini’s death and the six-fingered man. It’s likely that Fezzik found Vizzini’s dead body, but how in the name of Galoompa did he find out about the six-fingered man? He never saw Count Rugen. I suppose we could imagine that they somehow crossed paths, but that doesn’t solve the second plot hole. When Prince Humperdinck turns on the torture machine and Inigo and Fezzik hear Westley’s scream, they know it’s “the man in black” because they know that his true love is marrying another. But how do they know that Princess Buttercup is his true love? They never found out who he was or why he was following them. It would have made sense for them to assume that Prince Humperdinck had sent “the man in black”.

10. Someone just followed me on tumblr who posts some really inappropriate things. I know this because, whenever someone new follows me, I always take a moment to look at their page, but that is definitely a page I won’t ever visit again. In fact, I clicked “ignore”, which is equivalent to denying the existence of this person; now I couldn’t find his page even if I looked for it. Although I am somewhat creeped out that this person followed me, I am also kind of amused, because now he’s going to be seeing Bible verses and hymn verses and quotations from Lutheran theologians on his dashboard.

11. Now that it’s gotten dark, it’s getting cold, and I feel like I ought to close my window. But I love having my window open. This is indeed a conundrum, and I do not know how to solve it. But I do know how to spell conundrum, and that, in my opinion, is an impressive feat.

Yes, I do look for every oppurtunity to make Matrix references. I ought to start looking for every oppurtunity to make Inception references, because that's an awesome movie, too.

Yes, I do look for every oppurtunity to post this image. I ought to choose a corresponding Inception image, because that’s an awesome movie, too.

12. Right now, I’m kind of having a hard time making myself do my homework and stuff. It seems like it would be a lot more entertaining to pace my room and think random thoughts about interesting things. I ought to learn several different languages and think random thoughts in different languages so that my brain can practice worthwhile things while I’m thinking random thoughts. Either that, or I need to learn how to think it a code based upon numbers. I think that it ought to be possible to convert every kind of idea into a simple mathematical expression or formula, and that this would increase the efficiency of every form of communication as well as simplifying the learning process, regardless of subject matter. Of course, the aesthetic and artistic quality of language still has value, and, as an English major, I shouldn’t dismiss it as impractical. The ideal balance would probably be to use language as a means of communication, but to use a mathematically coded thought process. Of course, then there would be a translation process involved every time I had to communicate thoughts, but I feel like that’s already the way things work in my life. This translation process would actually be easier if my thought code was mathematically based, rather than being whatever it is now. I’m really not sure what kind of code my brain uses now, but it’s very odd. I think it has multiple layers of coding, because sometimes I have some random images or numbers or emotions or phrases running around in my brain that I can’t readily connect to anything, but I have the sense that they are somehow related to reality or something akin to reality. Speaking of which, there’s something that begins with 2-1-5 in the first column that’s really important. I just can’t remember what it is, but there’s a word that has an O-I in the middle. Okay, Self, that’s enough of that. Now go do what you’re supposed to be doing right now. Whatever that is. Um, it has an A in it, and it’s yellow and light blue. Oh, yeah, calculus. Wait, no, I forgot! There’s that purple thing I have to do first!

Is it time for another Princess Bride reference now?

Is it time for another Princess Bride reference now?

13. Don’t you hate it when you start to watch an online video without intending to watch another one, but the background music is so annoying that you have to watch something better to keep from getting the wrong music stuck in your head?

14. I eagerly look forward to the coffee I shall drink tomorrow morning. Indeed, coffee is a great and wondrous thing.

This isn't from a game I played, but this is the same website. This image has become very familiar to me recently.

This isn’t from a game I played, but this is the same website. This image has become very familiar to me recently.

15. It’s getting late, which means that within a few hours, I’ll be playing Settlers of Catan.  I mean going to sleep. Because obviously, I’m not going to stay awake  until two in the morning sitting on my bed playing Settlers of Catan online. That’s not the kind of thing I would ever do. Well, actually, it is. In my life lately, there has been a very fine line between playing Settlers of Catan online and sleeping, so who knows which one will end up taking precedence tonight. (See the earlier remark about my idiocy)

Various Aspects of My Life Today

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Every now and then, generally on a Sunday afternoon, I like to open a Word document and just type random things at intervals throughout the day. Later in the evening, I then give the whole thing a very quick and cursory edit and stick it on my blog with a few pictures added. I am not sure if anyone else in the world is particularly interested in reading such random collections of stuff, but it’s fun to do, so I keep doing it anyway. Without further ado, here is a list of stuff that I felt like typing at some point between noon-ish and 8:30-ish PM this evening.

I found this online and edited it a little. It used to say Missouri, but I've been to Missouri many times and I can assure you that it is more true of Alabama.

I found this online and edited it a little. It used to say Missouri, but I’ve been to Missouri many times and I can assure you that it is more true of Alabama.

1. Alabama is such a weird place. Today’s weather feels more like an example of the proverbial April Showers than like typical mid-January weather. The temperature is high enough that I would have the windows open if it wasn’t raining, and it’s so humid that my hair is just as curly as it is on a ridiculously hot summer day. The current weather system is interestingly reminiscent of the rain that occurred during the first week of June. In fact, I am now experiencing much nostalgia regarding the beginning of last summer.

2. On the way to and from church today, I discovered that I still know all of the words to all four verses of “Today Thy Mercy Calls Us”, “Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted”, and “Be Still My Soul”, the first three verses of “Salvation Unto Us Has Come” and “Soul Adorn Thyself With Gladness”,  and the first two verses of “By Grace I’m Saved”, “We All Believe in One True God,” and “Christ Jesus Lay in Death’s Strong Bands”, even though I haven’t sung in the car much since about late September. Ironically, despite being able to do all that singing in the car today, I still couldn’t sing in church due to the cold that I had almost two weeks ago. Also, I can’t remember all of “Christ is Arisen”, which is odd given the fact that it’s only one verse long.

No, there is no reason for this image to be here. Should there be a reason?

No, there is no reason for this image to be here. Should there be a reason?

3. When you think about it, it’s really amazing and incredible to have a body. It’s a concrete and physical representation of your entire self and identity, like an avatar in a computer game except that it’s more real. And you can do stuff with it, like walking around and like eating. I might not like everything about this physical self-container; I might wish that it had a prettier face or that it danced better, but the fact remains that it’s a pretty cool thing.

4. I feel very proud of the last couple chess games I just won. None of them were particularly interesting tactically; they mostly involved things like races to get pawns queened and slow maneuvers to chase the opponent’s king around. But now I’m sad because I just lost a game. Yes, I am typing and playing chess at the same time. I might be playing better if my attention wasn’t divided. (Update a couple minutes later: I won a game by resignation because my opponent made a really stupid mistake and lost his queen just a couple moves into the game. That blunder would have been unusually bad even for me. The moral of this story is that you should always think very carefully before moving your queen that soon.)

A picture of me and my sister. As you can probably guess, it's a rather old picture. I'm the one in pink.

A picture of me and my sister. As you can probably guess, it’s a rather old picture. I’m the one in pink.

5. It just occurred to me that last summer, when my sister and I fought a spam war, (the evidence of which can be seen here and here) this was before we used tumblr. I think that the time is coming when I should plan my next attack.

6. It’s mid-afternoon and I’m still wearing my church dress. I’m lazy and I hate changing clothes. Also, I happen to particularly like this dress. It fits me nicely and it’s comfortable, which always win major coolness points for dresses, especially dresses that still look as nice as this one does. I like the pattern, too; it’s brown and white with pink flowers. The really appealing thing about it is that, unlike most of my clothes, it doesn’t have a super low neckline or a very short skirt. I suppose I could see it as a compliment that the fashion industry assumes that anyone who wears my size would want to wear revealing clothes, but they happen to be wrong. I would prefer to dress more modestly than most clothing manufacturers allow, and this dress happens to be adequately modest.

I posted this on tumblr this morning

I posted this on tumblr this morning

7. I have two jigsaw puzzles in progress right now. I’ve been too busy to really work on them, so right now, they’re just sitting around and I put a few pieces in place every now and then. That’s not the way I like to do jigsaw puzzles; I have been known to stay up ‘till the wee hours o’ the morn to finish a puzzle that I started earlier that evening. Puzzles are fun because they’re somewhat intellectual but take up little enough mental energy that you can use that time to let your mind wander wherever it wants. And they’re metaphorical for life in that the point is to take hundreds or thousands of little pieces and put them together in a way that makes sense and allows you to see the big picture. The difference is that, in the case of a jigsaw puzzle, it really is possible to get the whole thing put together properly, and it usually doesn’t even take very long and isn’t very stressful in the meantime. Still, the metaphor is accurate enough that there’s something comforting and reassuring about accomplishing a jigsaw puzzle, particularly if you do it in a short time frame. The fact that life is significantly more complicated than jigsaw puzzles is the main reason that I decided to do two at the same time. That setup is still much simpler than real life, and it’s less fun that just focusing on one puzzle.

In progress

In progress

8. I’ve made a list of my top 100 favorite songs four times over the last three years or so, and it’s always a pretty long process. Making a list of my top 250 songs is taking forever. But it’s a great excuse to find time to listen to a lot of good music. That includes some music that I haven’t listened to since the last time I made a top 100 favorite songs list.

9. Speaking of music, I’m a little bit obsessed with Judith Durham of the 1960s Australian folk band The Seekers.  I think that she exemplified everything that a female pop singer should be. Most importantly, she had a very beautiful voice and she sang songs that I like, but besides that, she had a pretty face and dressed nicely. Also, she was married exactly once and divorced zero times, she never did drugs or got in trouble with the law as far as I know, and there was nothing even remotely provocative about her image. But mostly, I like her because she had a very beautiful voice and sang songs that I like. Examples of Judith Durham’s awesomeness can be found here and here and here and here and here and here and here. Those are about half of the songs by The Seekers that are going to be on my top 250 favorite songs list.

On days like today when there's lots of stuff I want to do and none of it involves leaving my room, I just stack everything I intend to use on my bed or desk.

On days like today when there’s lots of stuff I want to do and none of it involves leaving my room, I just stack everything I intend to use on my bed or desk.

10. I have experienced an utter lack of schedule since my car broke down on Friday. Even though it’s working again, and even though it got me to and from church just fine this morning, my life still isn’t following a predictable and controllable chain of events. Because I have obsessive-compulsive tendencies regarding my schedule, this feels like an anomaly in the space-time continuum. Note to self: get to class early tomorrow so I can ask my physics professor how to solve anomalies in the space-time continuum. If he asks what I mean, inform him that my car broke down on Friday. This should clarify matters entirely.

11. I don’t know what to make of the fact that I barely have any homework to do. It’s not that I have a problem with this situation; there are an infinite number of things that I’d rather do than homework. It’s just that I am unaccustomed to having as little homework as I’ve had this last week and a half. It’s an aberration that baffles me even while it brings me pleasure. I am content to spend the rest of the evening reading, writing, playing online games, and recording snippets of my favorite songs, but my brain tells me that this is not the way college students are supposed to live life.

In case it isn't obvious, I don't care if my pictures are relevant. Here's a random picture of Oswin from Doctor Who.

In case it isn’t obvious, I don’t care if my pictures are relevant. Here’s a random picture of Oswin from Doctor Who.

12. Here is a fun fact which my sisters told to me over Christmas break: Liquid Paper (which is a certain brand of correction fluid) was invented by the mother of Michael Nesmith, who went on to become one of the Monkees. In case anyone reading this doesn’t know who the Monkees are, The Monkees was a television show in the mid-1960s featuring a band by the same name. As a musical group, the Monkees were successful and talented enough to earn themselves the reputation of a serious band in their own right, despite the fact that the television show was anything but serious and clearly modeled after the Beatles. (To my sisters: Sorry, but it is true. I’m not criticizing them. I’m just saying that they were intended to be very, very similar to the Beatles.)

13. And now it’s time for a fun grammar fact! The contraction “ain’t” stands for “am not”, and technically is grammatically correct. Or at least, it was grammatically correct until it departed from common correct usage because it had become so prominent in common incorrect usage. It is frequently used in cases where the correct contraction is “aren’t” or “isn’t”. For example, “Ain’t those some funny-looking chickens?”  or “That one ain’t a chicken at all; I think it’s an ostrich.” But if the word “ain’t” can be correctly replaced with “am not”, it would have been grammatically acceptable. For example, “Actually, I ain’t sure if it’s an ostrich or a penguin.” On an unrelated note, I take pride in my ability to come up with brilliant examples of sentences with which to discuss grammatical points. Just kidding. I was only trying to come up with a relevant way to mention an ostrich in this blog post. Mission accomplished.

A picture of my beautiful cat that I think should go viral

A picture of my beautiful cat that I think should go viral

14. It’s raining very heavily outside, I’m feeling extremely lazy, and I’m not particularly hungry, but I feel like eating. Besides, it’s suppertime. It’s a good thing that I’m a college student and that popcorn and hot chocolate constitute a perfectly valid dinner under such conditions.

15. This popcorn has utterly failed to live up to my expectations, and I feel that my expectations were entirely justified on the grounds that the bag in which the popcorn was packaged clearly indicates that this popcorn is butter flavored. This, as it turned out, is untrue. However, I do have some cause for satisfaction, because there are notably few unpopped kernels. This is not a condition for which the popcorn or the corporation who packaged and sold the popcorn can be commended; rather, it is a sign of my own impressive popcorn popping skills.

16. I recall those days when I was a young child who had no fear of thunder and lightning, for I was brave and bold, not in general, but in regards to such phenomenon. Those days are long gone, and now I live in a world where storms are to be feared, not because of a paranoid phobia or a childish terror of vague and uncertain causes, but because I know I must drive my car tomorrow, and my brakes screech something terrible when it has just rained.

17. Once again, I am engaging in an interesting experiment where I periodically time myself attempting to memorize a string of digits acquired with a random number generator. The history of this experiment can be found in these blog posts from last summer. I find it relevant to mention this point now because I am pleased with my statistics recently. Despite the fact that my life is currently in turmoil, as indicated by other statistics regarding my quantity of sleep and my emotional state at various points throughout my daily life, my brain appears to be functioning at higher than normal efficiency. Out of the past six runs of this experiment, I have succeeded four times in memorizing a string of twenty random digits in less than a minute, holding them in my mind for more than a minute while not consciously thinking about them, and then writing them down accurately in just a couple seconds. This game does have some practical applications. Early last week, for example, I instantaneously memorized the speed of light (299, 792, 458 meters per second) without having to actually put any effort into it. Clearly, I am well on the way to turning my own brain into a robot, and I expect that the fact that this doesn’t bother me is evidence that I’m getting quite close. Now, if only I was as good at things that actually matter in real life.

I made this sign for my wall this evening. Aside from the obvious fact that I can't draw or write properly, I think it's an awesome sign.

I made this sign for my wall this evening. Aside from the obvious fact that I can’t draw or write properly, I think it’s an awesome sign.

18. In order to make hot chocolate, I microwaved some milk. It scalded a little, and when I took it out of the microwave, I observed that there was a sort of film across the surface of the milk. I lifted it, and it had the texture of wet paper. This fascinated me. I am easily fascinated.

It’s time for another episode of random thoughts on a Sunday afternoon

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1. Today was Reformation Sunday, and speaking of Reformation Sunday, I will be very interested to see what my college’s student newspaper does with the thingy I wrote called ‘Happy Reformation Day!’ I have written stuff for my college’s newspaper before, but it’s always been something kind of silly and generally semi-science fictiony. Let’s just say that my college is not a Lutheran school and I’m not sure if the newspaper really wants to print anything that’s religious without being deliberately vague. I avoided using the kind of sarcastic tone that I have used in other contexts, but that might not have been enough to make my thingy neutral enough for their standards. I didn’t want it to be neutral anyway.

This picture has significant symbolic meaning. I just can’t decide what that meaning is.

2. It is worth noting that I am wearing argyle socks today. The reason that this fact is notable is that argyle is an interesting word. I looked it up and it comes from Argyll, a place in Scotland. Now I’m trying to think of a way that the pattern known as argyle can be considered a metaphor for something really intellectually deep. I can offer no reasonable explanation for why this matters.

3. There’s a certain book that I’ve decided to start reading today, despite the facts that a) I don’t really have a lot of time for leisure reading, b) I’ve read that book a gazillion times already, and c) it’s written for a younger audience.  In fact, the only reason I particularly want to read this book now is that I’ve come to associate it with this time of year, which is odd because a) It takes place in May and June, b) the first time I read it was in September, and c) I used to read it every December.

4. If I had a kitchen, today would be the sort of day that I would want to cook something.

5. I have a question. Is it morally wrong to enter a building through a door marked exit? (Or vice versa) It seems like the answer should be no, because no harm comes from using the wrong door. There are some exceptions to that, but in those cases, the rules are enforced a little more strongly. I’m talking specifically about places like grocery stores, where it technically doesn’t matter. But even if there is no reason for designating a door to be an in or an out door, the fact remains that using the wrong door constitutes breaking a rule. I’m not saying that the moral aspects of walking through doors are necessarily issues that require much attention. I’m just wondering if there are moral aspects to walking through doors.

6. Don’t get me wrong; I love having a car. But car problems are so incredibly stressful. My car recently broke down and needed an engine replacement, and now I’m living in constant fear that my car will either spontaneously explode or suddenly break down again. On the way to church this morning, it started shaking and making a scary noise that was disturbingly similar to the noise it made before it broke down last time, and I had to pull off to the side of the road and park the car. While I was waiting for the panic to fade enough that I could make a rational decision about whether or not it would be safe to start the car again, a couple policemen showed up, took a look at the car, and assured me that it would be okay. Needless to say, though, this incident did little to relieve my distrust of my car’s safety.

7. I’m performing The Nutcracker with a ballet school where I’m taking classes this semester, and one of my three roles is a parent in the party scene. Yesterday, one of “my” kids randomly hugged me and told me that I was the best mother ever. ‘Twas the highlight of my week.

8. I consider myself much more of a language arts kind of person than a mathematical or scientific person, but in most semesters, the class that I feel I get the most out of is something like a social science or math class. This semester, it’s logic. There’s something about a subject where there are objectively clear right and wrong answers that makes it more comfortable and, in a way, more enjoyable than a literature class, which tends to be more abstract and subjective. According to those points of view, I should like grammar, but I actually find it kind of boring.

9. It has reached the time of year when I must make a choice about whether it is better to keep the window closed in order to keep the temperature comfortable, or if it is better to leave the window open and to be extremely cold but to have fresh air. For the time being, I have decided in favor of the fresh air.

10. Last night, for no particular reason, I stayed up until two in the morning making lists of stuff, trying to precisely define all of my priorities, and categorizing my opinions about various things. At the time, this all seemed absolutely necessary, but the only remaining result of this project is a ridiculously long document saved on my computer under the title ‘Rules of Life’, which still needs to be organized much more thoroughly before it actually makes any sense.

11. Tonight, there’s a place downtown that is showing the Luther movie, and I’d like to go, but I don’t think I will because I’m scared of driving my car. I feel like I’m starting to get a little too accustomed to sitting at the side of the road with police officers looking under my car hood. This is not the type of situation that one wants to be in habitually.

Pictured above: a fascinating tiny critter that I wouldn’t want to see in my room

12. I do not think I will ever be too old to enjoy flipping over big rocks or dead logs for the purpose of seeing what fascinating insects and other tiny critters live under them. This does not necessarily mean, though, that I like it when fascinating insects and other tiny critters get in my room.

13. The world is so full of stuff to know, and even after twenty-one years of constantly learning stuff, I still know so little of it. I hope I live to be extraordinarily old, because that’s the only way I’ll have a chance to actually accomplish anything.

14. Happiness, it’s time to do my logic homework. I love doing my logic homework. Also, I am excited about the logic exam that we have on Thursday. And I dislike it when we get out of logic class early. These are all things that are probably not true of most of my classmates in logic class.

15. I had an odd dream a couple nights ago. I was at my house and a large group of kids came trick-or-treating. We thought that was odd, considering that it was several days before Halloween, but we happened to have Halloween candy on hand anyway, so we gave them some. Then they stole all of the candy, along with several boxes of books and papers. Somehow, we got those boxes back, and we spent the rest of the dream sorting through all of them and finding cool stuff that we hadn’t seen in years.

16. My refrigerator just made a funny noise and then stopped making the quiet humming noise it usually makes. Sheesh, refrigerator, I’ve got enough to worry about what with my car threatening to break down. If you’re going to die too, it’s your own problem, and I’ll just have to do without you. It’s your choice. I’m beyond caring.

17. Here is something I have always wondered: Does a person’s eye color have anything to do with their identity in a more general sense? In other words, if my eyes were a different color, would I be a different person? Actually, I think it’s pretty obvious that the answer is no; eye color is a superficial feature. But how can we know that? Maybe eye color does reflect certain aspects of a person’s personality or something. I read somewhere that people with blue eyes can consume more alcohol without getting intoxicated than people with brown eyes can. I’m not necessarily saying that’s true, and I don’t think I got that from a reliable source anyway, but maybe it is true, and in that case, couldn’t that mean that there are other distinctions between people of different eye colors?

Self, you’re weird. Be quiet and do your homework.

18. Note to my refrigerator: I didn’t mean it like that. Please don’t die.

19. I’ve had a keyboard for well over a month now, and I still haven’t learned how to play it, except the melody line of hymns. I ought to be working on playing with both hands at the same time, because that’s the way one is supposed to play the piano, but I’m having more fun messing around with key signatures in the melody line. If you play “A Mighty Fortress is our God” with B flats, it sounds totally different.  Also, “Come Thou Almighty King” is a fun one to B-flat-ify. (According to the internet, that’s either F major or D minor. I’m confused; what’s the difference between F major and D minor, then?) Clearly, at some point in my life, I need to learn something about music. Specifically, how to do it.

20. I think the refrigerator is going to be okay. The problem was nothing that couldn’t be solved with a little cleverness and a few dirty looks.

21. I am making hot chocolate because it is now the time of year when it is right that one should have hot chocolate on a Sunday evening. And I am making it with milk and an excessive amount of hot chocolate mix because that is what awesome people do. And I am spilling hot chocolate mix because sometimes, that is another thing that awesome people do. But they don’t do it on purpose, and they promise to clean it up before their roommate has to see it.

For the record, here is what today looked like before it got dark.

22. I have seen 7, 723 evenings in my lifetime, but it never ceases to surprise me just how quickly it becomes dark when you’re not paying attention.

23. Here is another thing I have wondered: Where did the last part of the Lord’s Prayer come from? (I mean the part that goes “For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever”) In the bible, the Lord’s Prayer ends with “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” (Matthew 6:13) and even in Luther’s small catechism, which was written hundreds of years later, the conclusion to the Lord’s Prayer is just “Amen”. So when and why did the other bit get added?

24. The book I’m writing about for my senior seminar paper apparently has a movie loosely based on it, and I ought to see that movie so that I know whether or not I ought to mention it in my paper. I found the trailer on Youtube, and it looks like a really sad and sappy movie. Normally, I’d be glad to use schoolwork as an excuse to watch a movie, but I can think of many movies I’d rather watch than this one. For example, Labyrinth is a cool movie, and one that I like to watch around Halloween. And lately, I’ve really felt like watching some Doctor Who, but haven’t found the time. (For the record, the episode that I especially want to see is Pirate Planet, which is my second favorite episode with Tom Baker. My very favorite episode with Tom Baker is State of Decay, and my very favorite is Blink.) Anyway, I guess I don’t have a choice.

More Random Thoughts on Another Sunday

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A few weeks ago, I found myself with a totally free afternoon on my hands, and it seemed like a good idea to arbitrarily write a couple sentences or a paragraph every now and then throughout the day, and eventually to stick it together into one blog post of randomness. That turned out to be a fun way to spend an afternoon, so I’m doing it again today. The difference is that this time, it’s not so much afternoon as evening, and by the time I actually post this, it’ll probably be late.

1. This one actually isn’t random at all, because I’m actually pretty mad about it. I just want to say that good works are not one of the marks of the church. They are good things, which is why they’re called ‘good’ works, but you cannot say that the good works of a congregation prove that the word of God is taught accurately and faithfully there. Grace and good works are distinct. (Romans 3:20, Romans 3:28, Galatians 2:16, Galatians 3:10-14, Ephesians 2:8-9, 2 Timothy 1:9, Titus 3:4-7, etc… Just sayin’.) Rather, the marks of the church are the sacraments and the word. (Deuteronomy 8:3b, Psalm 119:81,Mark 16:16, Luke 1:45, Acts 2:28, Acts 2:42 Romans 6:3-5, 1 Corinthians 10:16-17, 1 Corinthians 11:26, Galatians 3:26-27, Ephesians 5:26, 1 Peter 3:21, Titus 3:4-7, etc… The only reason I’m stopping there is that this is taking a really long time and I think the point has been made.) On a related note, I am looking forward to Pastor’s return from vacation next Sunday.

2. I’m not sure what a cherimoya is, but this bottle of water is flavored like it. Okay, I just googled it and discovered that it’s a fruit native to the Andes, and it looks a little like a spiky avocado.  Good to know.

3. Why does my cell phone have an alarm clock feature under the ‘office tools’ category?

Second annual gingerbread house
December 2011

4. I can’t wait until next December when it’s time for my family to make our third annual gingerbread house and gingerbread-house-making documentary.

5. In those awkward situations where I suddenly don’t know what to say next, I should yell, “VERBAL FALIURE! Loading, please wait,” and stare blankly into space until I find the words to say.

6. I like my new puzzle. It has a picture of turkeys, but the turkeys aren’t the part I like best. I like the sky best. The sky is almost always my favorite part of jigsaw puzzles, unless they don’t show the sky.

7. On the way to church this morning, something odd happened. Normally, it takes exactly three times through ‘Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted’ for me to get to the right exit, (This is, in fact, how I ensure that I get off at the right exit) but today I must have either been driving too fast or singing too slow, because I still had two verses left to go when I got off the interstate. It was weird.

8. At the moment, half of my fingernails are bright lime green and the other half are dark blue.  The blue ones match my shirt. The green ones don’t.

9. Why does the word ‘impertinent’ have a meaning other than ‘not pertinent’?

I didn’t make this. I borrowed it from Google.

10. A few weeks ago, I was planning to write a blog post about the similarities between Star Wars and The Matrix. Then I watched the first Matrix movie a second time and I saw the others for the first time, and I realized that the similarities are much less subtle than I had thought at first. Then I was going to write a blog post about my opinion that in Titanic, Jack Dawson never existed, (even in the fictional context of the movie) and that he was just Rose’s imaginary boyfriend. Then I realized that my theory had a hole in it because of the sketch that Jack drew.

11. My sister says on her blog that she told our mutual little sister that Marco Polo was an Olympic sport.

12. There’s a certain place on the interstate where there’s a sudden tight curve and the speed limit drops down to 45. I can’t help always feeling a little smug when everyone around me has to suddenly slam on their brakes, and I don’t, just because I always take my foot off the accelerator a few seconds earlier than they do.

But I did get this strange knight fork. That’s not something you see every game.

13. I seem to have forgotten how to play chess today. This is a little pathetic.

14. Why does the phrase ‘more or less’ mean ‘approximately’? Shouldn’t it mean ‘anything besides exactly’?

15. I really wish that I was taking my car when I go to Chicago next month. Instead, I’m taking the bus, and I’m going to miss my lovely car. She and I have such fun going places together.

16. As much as I love the Olympics, it seems a little odd that we think we’re celebrating intercultural and international unity by pitting the best, most dedicated, and most determined athletes of the world against each other and encouraging everyone to cheer for the contestants from their own country.

17. Before classes start again, I’m going to have to get in the habit of getting more sleep than I have been lately. As Benjamin Franklin never actually said, “Late to bed and early to rise, leads to fatigue and bloodshot eyes.”

18. I have heard it said that semicolons shouldn’t be used very often; any place where you can put a semicolon, you could just start a new sentence. I disagree with that; I love semicolons.

Random Thoughts on a Sunday Afternoon

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There is no particular reason for this picture to be here, but I like it.

1. One of the coolest things about having a car is that it’s a lot of fun driving home (or rather, back to campus) from church. I don’t know why that would be more fun than driving any other time, but it totally is.

This is how it ended

2. On the website where I play correspondence chess, there’s this one person that I’ve been playing repeatedly for practically the whole time I’ve been using that website, and I’ve almost always beaten him. I don’t know why, because according to his rating, he’s considerably better than me. This last time, I thought for sure I’d lose because I made some stupid mistakes very early in the game that led to him preventing me from castling, taking my rook on a8 for free, and gaining a couple pawns. Somehow, I won anyway. I’m not entirely sure how I managed to do that; it must be because I’m clever.

3. Sometimes I have a weird nagging fear that I’m wrong about what day of the week it is. Today was one of those days. On the way to church, I couldn’t shake the feeling that it wasn’t really Sunday, so I was glad to see other cars at the church. Just as I was about to pull into the parking lot, I saw a squirrel in the middle of the road. It noticed me at the same time, and was so startled that it jumped several feet straight up, then landed right in front of me again. I had to slow down practically to a stop in order to avoid hitting it, especially because it was so stupid that it still took several seconds to decide to run away. But this story ends happily, because the squirrel survived, and because it was a Sunday, just as I had thought.

4. My hair is insanely curly today. I like it when my hair is insanely curly.

5. Some people may think that I put too much lemon juice in my lemonade. I say I’m supposed to use lots of lemon juice; it’s called lemonade, not waterade. The only reason I use any water at all is that my parents taught me how to make lemonade, and they said it should have water in it. Since I am a very good daughter and always do exactly what my parents tell me, (I can hear my family members rolling their eyes as they read this) I continue to put at least a little water in my lemonade.

6. When I was little, I thought that the part of the Confession that says “…But I am heartily sorry for them and sincerely repent of them…” said ‘hardly sorry’ and I was very confused. It was quite a revelation when I learned how to read and saw what it really said. The moral of this story is that learning how to read is awesome.

This is actually the view from the window of my dorm room last summer. I can’t get a picture from my current window that does the view justice.

7. The view from my window is really incredible. I can see quite a lot of the city. Birmingham is beautiful; it has forests and hills and skyscrapers and city lights, and they’re all visible from this little glass-covered hole in my bedroom wall.  Windows are a pretty brilliant idea. I know they aren’t exactly a recent invention, but I still think that they deserve acknowledgement as one of the cleverest human achievements of all time.

8. If there was really any such thing as the fashion police, I expect that they would come to arrest me today. In my defense, I like these socks and I like this skirt and I like this shirt, which is a common link between them, and thus, they go together. Although it’s true that I’m simultaneously wearing horizontal stripes, diagonal stripes, and a floral print, I don’t think that’s really the important point here. The important point is that I’m wearing awesome clothes today. I have such style and class.

9. I am vaguely aware of the fact that if anybody else was to walk into my dorm room and look around, they would inevitably come to the conclusion that I am weird. I suppose it’s already a little strange that the top of my desk is completely hidden under stacks of books, (which are piled on top of a finished jigsaw puzzle) a chess board, and various papers and notebooks. What’s a little odder, though, is that one of my walls has nine pieces of notebook paper taped to it, all of which are covered in letters and numbers. Two of them are about chess games, but the other seven are all records of random stuff written in forms of notation that I had to invent myself.

10. I hate my internet connection. It will hardly ever stay online for long enough for me to actually do stuff. I’m really sick and tired of losing chess and scrabble games just because I keep losing my internet connection. I suppose that those technically aren’t the most important things I do with the internet, but they definitely are the most time-sensitive things. So far today, I’ve won a couple games by playing well and have lost quite a lot of games by losing my internet connection. If there was a list of the most frustrating situations in the universe, unreliable internet connections would be pretty close to the top.

11. Last night, it occurred to me to wonder what would happen if I soaked bits of marshmallows in the paprika water in which I had previously baked apple slices. There’s only one way to find out. They’ve been soaking for half a day now, and I think it’ll soon be time to take a look at them and see if anything interesting happened. If not, I can always microwave them, because microwaving marshmallows is always interesting.

12. I remember the last time I was bored. It was April 12, 2007.

13. Once upon a time, I had a dream in which my brother challenged me to figure out a system of 26-variable calculus in order to convert language into mathematical equations. (Incidentally, as bizarre as that sounds, it really is the kind of thing that my brother and I would think about doing) Even though it was only a dream, I took that challenge seriously, and I am annoyed by the fact that I still don’t know how one would go about doing that.

14. ‘Tis raining, which is odd considering that it was a beautiful, sunny, summery day just a few minutes ago. But actually, this is a very nice summer rain, and I bet it won’t last for long anyway. I’m just really glad that I decided not to leave my car windows open a crack. Oh, what d’ya know, it just stopped raining. That was quick. Alabama weather is weird.

Here is a random picture from last summer that shows the cat messing up the scrabble game my sister and I were playing. It’s automatically a cute picture since it has both my cute cat and my cute sister in it.

15. My vocabulary really is sadly deficient.  For the last couple weeks, I’ve been keeping track of all the words I can find that I don’t know, and the list is outrageously long. Every morning, I write all the new additions to the list on little slips of paper and put them in a box with the others, and then, at intervals throughout the day, I take a few words out of the box, guess what they mean, and look up their definitions. If I was right about what it is, I make a mark on the slip of paper before it goes back in the box; I can take it out once it has five marks.  I’m starting to think I should be using a bigger box for this.

16. Someday, relatively soon, I will be an adult and will no longer live in a college dorm, and I’ll have my own kitchen and be able to cook my own food and will have a well-balanced and nutritious diet. I am looking forward to that very much. Nonetheless, I am currently quite content with the fact that my diet lately has consisted mainly of chocolate oatmeal, peanut butter jelly sandwiches, yogurt, microwaved s’mores, and excessive quantities of ice cream and milkshakes.

17. Great camaduka, that’s a weird-looking cloud.