Saturday, August 06, 2005

Email: Emotions and tears [VI]

Tears are an emotional outlet. They literally well up or leak (seep) out of a "saturated surface." The first supportive response is just to "be there." Only after the person crying has "gone through" her emotions can discussing her feelings help. [You must experience emotions before you can process them.]

I am sensitive to a woman's feelings and tears. I am a good listener.

Questions: Where are your manners?

Would you rather say nothing of substance, so long as you could remain courteous and well-mannered? Or would you rather say something that might make a difference (if the hearer chooses to act on it) even if others consider you to be more frank than they prefer?

In other words, would you rock (but not capsize) the boat in order to save the boat, when inaction will only lead to more-of-the-same (or worse)?

Would you step on a toe to save the enterprise, even if the toe's owner can't appreciate or won't follow up on your saving action?

Email: Searches and questions [VI]

I suppose all searching and questioning in a relationship is just looking for answers, security and (ideally) mutual happiness. When the questioning is going on, though, it's not always pleasant for the questionee (esp. if his or her style is to avoid being under the microscope).

I believe we usually (or fully) discover after the fact when a career or other situation has been eating us alive. Those of us who are in the public eye (you with your radio program, me with my magazine) may be even less aware of this, because of the sacrifices we make for our audience; but everyone in communications needs personal boundaries to keep their fame or importance from going to their heads. I am of two minds about creating an outreach to singles and couples as you have done. You would simply like a relationship since you are helping so many with theirs. Speaking for myself, however, do I want to be in a relationship while I am teaching others about "the right ways to do relationships"? (Will my partner fear being discussed in public, or compare our real relationship with the ideals that I teach?) On the other hand, do I want to be perpetually single? (Who does?) As usual, I believe the same approach can resolve both horns of the dilemma: You know it is right when you find a relationship which fits so compatibly with your life goals that there is no gap between your ideals and your reality -- and your partner trusts you about what you say or don't say about your relationship in the classroom or in the mass media.

I think your presentation about expressing attention without expectation is the right thing to teach. It preserves each partner's freedom and personal boundaries, [while] anything else risks manipulating one or the other into something they crave more than they need or they choose.

Email: Trust your own path [AS]

I've never felt like I have to be like everyone else... Just discover my own path and find a partner who is compatible. What are you looking for? Don't second-guess yourself too much. Seek what you want in life and love. You are worth it.

It's a maturity issue. I've never been dissatisfied with an older woman. They always know themselves and what they want.

Email: Doughnuts and coffee [AS]

A doughnut shop is usually bare tables under fluorescent lights. A coffeeshop is more like a restaurant or Starbucks where you can sit and hang out all day if you like.

Email: Ah, marriage! [JE]

Yes, trust me; physical activity will get you going again; restore your metabolism and loosen up those muscles and joints.

I think you meant to say you broke your left hip [not lip]; otherwise I'd hate to think of the exercise (not to mention kisses) you would miss after having a hairline lip fracture!

Your husband working hard and being easier to be around seems to be the way of things; most men of substance prefer a challenge they can rise to and accomplish. (This also makes them harder to live with upon retirement unless they find new areas of activity.) I presume that is his comfort zone, which is what determines his response (positive or negative) when work is as you say (challenging or boring).

Help me please. You are pursuing an annulment for your prior marriage after marrying a second time? How does that affect your current marriage -- retroactively? Or are you just crossing your T's? I just always assumed Catholics had to wait for their annulment before they could remarry. Now I'm confused. :-{

Email: Being diplomatic [MG]

I always love the local food too. I always prefer variety and adventure to predictability and comfort.

Ya gotta hate those crabby alpha females! Sorry you didn't get to go [to the diplomatic reception], but you were right to remain flexible.

Email: Unity church [KF]

I'm glad you've been able to prove that Unity has better people than the flaky ones we've both run into.

Email: Dominance vs. equality [SD]

There are many dimensions to being "dominant" in a relationship (you're better at math, I'm better at words, you're better at multitasking, I'm better at concentration etc.). There is no single aspect where one person can be "dominant" once and for all (without a willful effort to be so and the other person's surrender); it's a constellation of stars.

Brain exercises to stretch your imagination? Try the book Drawing with the Right Side of Your Brain or reading poetry or listening to classical music.

Email: Who is in control? [KF]

You and I are honest and intelligent enough to know what is love and what is lust. We won't compromise or settle, because we are in control of our own bodies and desires. Others settle for and engage themselves sexually with unsatisfactory partners because sex is bigger than they are. (So many people make impulsive, irrational and even dangerous decisions about sex, esp. where alcohol is involved.)

Email: Trusting God for a partner [DW]

Yes, I am happy for all I have received and for the time that I have received it.

Sounds like [your daughter and her boyfriend have] been doing all the [wedding] shopping before he's done the asking. [The important question is:] Do you like him and think he is The One for her?

I know it is hard to think of yourself as sexy and desirable when so much is on your mind esp. your father. I have had to face the fact that providing a living comes [first]. God will provide; he just takes the long view! You are right to leave your future love in God's hands. Just don't forget to take care of yourself and to get out now and then to enjoy yourself. You are right to trust God to the details and [to] believe that he will fill the need when he answers your prayers too.

Email: Initiative and reciprocity [KF]

[No decent man is] interested in anything one-sided either. It does amuse me though (if that is the best word I can put on it) who in a developing relationship considers who to be one-sided. I'd say over the years that I have probably written any woman I have met twice as often and twice as long as she has written me, and called twice as much; yet women always surrender the initiative (including their half of the reciprocity) to the man (even when they say they want a two-sided relationship) and consider me to be the one who is lagging behind them. I suppose the only way to get around that is to be a total lap dog, but you and I both know that isn't realistic for [professional men and women].

So many times, it seems women want to jump into the deep end immediately, wonder why the man is taking the gradual path (as all do), and then get impatient and leave the pool before the man reaches the deep end in the manner he said he would all along.

Email: The DaVinci Code [Sy]

Don't worry too much about The DaVinci Code, which it seems that 90% of all women say they have just read; it is fiction and (I have a theology degree) mostly untrue. The rebel theologians and historians (like Elaine Pagels and Dan Brown) do present their views in a manner that gets people's attention though -- probably because so few lay persons know anything about theology or history.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Email: Whither weather [MG]

Yes meteorology is fascinating to me. One question though: How come they never talk about isobars anymore? It used to be isobar this and isobar that.

Words: fettle [MW]

Function: noun
: state or condition of health, fitness, wholeness, spirit, or form -- often used in the phrase in fine fettle

Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): fet·tled; fet·tling /'fet-li[ng], 'fe-t&l-i[ng]/
Etymology: Middle English fetlen to shape, prepare; perhaps akin to Old English fæt vessel -- more at VAT
: to cover or line the hearth of (as a reverberatory furnace) with loose material (as sand or gravel)

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Musings: The best kind of job

The best kind of job for me -- whether I'm a writer, editor, musician, teacher, designer, researcher or any other combination of those skill sets -- involves a place with the rustling of paper.

Ideas and the ability to create them... learning and the ability to impart it... That's my dream job.

Words: doughnuts not donuts

It's dough-nuts (doh-nuts), not do-nuts (doo-nuts)!

Musings: Jobs we'd choose but for the opprobrium

Have you ever thought it would be cool to be a famous advertising character like the Ty-D-Bowl man -- except for the ridicule you'd receive because, um, you're the Ty-D-Bowl man? I think about that a lot: Somewhere there's a guy who may or may not have listed "Ty-D-Bowl man" on his resume. Think about it: Everywhere we turn, there are jobs that no one in their right mind would want -- but someone does it, and generally with guts and aplomb (despite the risk of being a social outcast).

Worse than being a mortician or a slaughterhouse butcher, what other jobs would you be ashamed to mention if you were on a game show?

Q. And Bill, what do you do?
A. Um... I work with meat byproducts, Bob... Actually I work in them... Knee-deep to tell the truth... I shovel pig parts into the slop grinder at the weiner factory... (begins weeping) God, I hate my job...
Q. OK, moving right along...

I was appreciating the industrial flushing strength of the toilets at one client's when it occurred to me that somebody has to design toilets to do what they do -- that is, not to glop up with streaks like those weak-ass models they installed in your home and mine. And not only to design them to work so well, but to test them... over and over and over... I wonder what they use for artificial flushing materials? I wonder who makes that crap (and designs and tests it)? Now there's a job I'd hate to have.

I'll bet diamonds to doughnuts you've never thought about stuff like this. I didn't till now either -- but see? I do. Scary, huh?

Proverbs: If the original sin was Pride, it had a twin named Control

Pride says "I shall rule," but Control says "All others shall be subject to my wish and whim." (Worse still, Control often names God as its justification and supposed ally.)

Lyrics: Train - Drops of Jupiter

Now that she’s back in the atmosphere
With drops of jupiter in her hair, hey, hey
She acts like summer and walks like rain
Reminds me that there’s time to change, hey, hey

Tell me, did you fall for a shooting star
One without a permanent scar
And did you miss me while you were looking at yourself out there?

Dialogues: Church urchin

Q. So what church are you going to now?
A. I'm sorry, but based on your continued belief that I am (as you so ignominiously put it) "going to hell," you have lost the right to have that information, esp. since I know for a fact that you are no longer interested in me as a person or as a friend, but as someone you wish to judge, criticize, or spurn because I no longer practice my faith by your rules.

Dialogues: Risque business

Q. So have you had sex in a public place? At the office? Outdoors?
A. Why would you even ask such things? I'm not going to kiss-and-tell or say a word about whether anything so personal has ever occurred. And if it had, not only would it be in the past, but it has nothing to do with you. You're entirely too salacious, you know.

Dialogues: Fudging the story(teller)

Q. Did the character have a relationship with the woman? Is the character autobiographical? Why did you use the present tense if the relationship was in the past?
A. I could explain the story in greater detail, but you need to understand that it is not autobiographical; few stories are. It is not my "true confessions" on paper; it stands on its own as a work of fiction. Moreover, I sense in you not a simple curiosity about the story but a desire to pry into my inner motives; and not a simple curiosity about my inner motives but a desire to criticize or to change them.

Weblogs: Technology - province of cowards

(comments on "The Wired Are A Rude Bunch" in Fortune via The Rage Diaries)

"That teenaged girls can be nasty little pills is no surprise to anyone who's ever run across -- or been -- one. But the article goes on point out that bullies now have a new means by which to publicly humiliate their peers, and adult cell phone users are now exercising passive-aggres[s]ive insults to would-be mobile callers by assigning them insulting ring tones."

Neologisms: chort

Chortle or snort of incredulity.

(But also see: Oh Is It? and Evil Chort)

Trivia: My list of experiences

Following is a list meme I found on someone else's blog (Confessions of A Libertine). What I have done is in bold. What I have not done, but would like to do, is in italics. All else is in normal typeface.

01. Bought everyone in the pub a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula.
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said ‘I love you’ and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Done a striptease
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Stayed up all night long, and watch the sun rise
15. Seen the Northern Lights
16. Gone to a huge sports game
17. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
18. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
19. Touched an iceberg
20. Slept under the stars
21. Changed a baby’s diaper
22. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
23. Watched a meteor shower
24. Gotten drunk on champagne
25. Given more than you can afford to charity
26. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
27. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
28. Had a food fight
29. Bet on a winning horse
30. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
31. Asked out a stranger
32. Had a snowball fight
33. Photocopied your bottom on the office photocopier
34. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
35. Held a lamb
36. Enacted a favorite fantasy
37. Taken a midnight skinny dip
38. Taken an ice cold bath
39. Had a meaningful conversation with a beggar
40. Seen a total eclipse
41. Ridden a roller coaster
42. Hit a home run
43. Fit three weeks miraculously into three days
44. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
45. Adopted an accent for an entire day
46. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
47. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
48. Had two hard drives for your computer
49. Visited all 50 states
50. Loved your job for all accounts
51. Taken care of someone who was shit faced
52. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
53. Had amazing friends
54. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
55. Watched wild whales
56. Stolen a sign
57. Backpacked in Europe
58. Taken a road-trip
59. Rock climbing
60. Lied to foreign government’s official in that country to avoid notice
61. Midnight walk on the beach
62. Sky diving
63. Visited Ireland
64. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
65. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
66. Visited Japan
67. Benchpressed your own weight
68. Milked a cow
69. Alphabetized your records
70. Pretended to be a superhero
71. Sung karaoke
72. Lounged around in bed all day
73. Posed nude in front of strangers
74. Scuba diving
75. Got it on to “Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye
76. Kissed in the rain
77. Played in the mud
78. Played in the rain
79. Gone to a drive-in theater
80. Done something you should regret, but don’t regret it
81. Visited the Great Wall of China
82. Discovered that someone who’s not supposed to have known about your blog has discovered your blog
83. Dropped Windows in favor of something better
84. Started a business
85. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
86. Toured ancient sites
87. Taken a martial arts class
88. Swordfought for the honor of a woman
89. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
90. Gotten married
91. Been in a movie
92. Crashed a party
93. Loved someone you shouldn’t have
94. Kissed someone so passionately it made them dizzy
95. Gotten divorced
96. Had sex at the office
97. Gone without food for 5 days
98. Made cookies from scratch
99. Won first prize in a costume contest
100. Ridden a gondola in Venice
101. Got a tattoo
102. Found that the texture of some materials can turn you on
103. Rafted the Snake River
104. Been on television news programs as an “expert”
105. Got flowers for no reason
106. Masturbated in a public place
107. Got so drunk you don’t remember anything
108. Been addicted to some form of illegal drug
109. Performed on stage
110. Been to Las Vegas
111. Recorded music
112. Eaten shark
113. Got more than one tattoo
114. Gone to Thailand
115. Seen Siouxsie live
116. Bought a house
117. Been in a combat zone
118. Buried one/both of your parents
119. Visited all the provinces in Canada
120. Been on a cruise ship
121. Spoken more than one language fluently
122. Gotten into a fight while attempting to defend someone
123. Bounced a check
124. Performed in Rocky Horror
125. Read - and understood - your credit report
126. Raised children
127. Recently bought and played with a favorite childhood toy
128. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour (Look out John Mayer!)
129. Created and named your own constellation of stars
130. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
131. Found out something significant that your ancestors did
132. Called or written your Congress person
133. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
134. …more than once? - More than thrice?
135. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
136. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
137. Had an abortion or your female partner did
138. Had plastic surgery
139. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
140. Wrote articles for a large publication
141. Lost over 100 pounds
142. Held someone while they were having a seizure
143. Piloted an airplane
144. Petted a stingray
145. Broken someone’s heart
146. Helped an animal give birth
147. Been fired or laid off from a job
148. Won money on a T.V. game show
149. Broken a bone
150. Killed a human being
151. Gone on an African photo safari
152. Ridden a motorcycle
153. Driven any land vehicle at a speed of greater than 100mph
154. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced
155. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
156. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
157. Ridden a horse
158. Had major surgery
159. Had sex on a moving train
160. Had a snake as a pet
161. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
162. Slept through an entire flight: takeoff, flight, and landing
163. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
164. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
165. Visited all 7 continents
166. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
167. Eaten kangaroo meat
168. Fallen in love at an ancient Mayan burial ground
169. Been a sperm or egg donor
170. Eaten sushi
171. Had your picture in the newspaper
172. Had 2 (or more) healthy romantic relationships for over a year in your lifetime
173. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
174. Gotten someone fired for their actions
175. Gone back to school
176. Parasailed
177. Changed your name
178. Petted a cockroach
179. Eaten fried green tomatoes
180. Read The Iliad
181. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read
182. Dined in a restaurant and stolen silverware, plates, cups because your apartment needed them
183. …and gotten 86'ed from the restaurant because you did it so many times, they figured out it was you
184. Taught yourself an art from scratch
185. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
186. Apologized to someone years after inflicting the hurt
187. Skipped all your school reunions
188. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
189. Been elected to public office
190. Written your own computer language
191. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
192. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
193. Built your own PC from parts
194. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
195. Had a booth at a street fair
196: Dyed your hair
197: Been a DJ
198: Found out someone was going to dump you via LiveJournal
199: Written your own role playing game
200: Been arrested

OK, let's see how your list compares to mine.

Musings: I love the Spanish accent in the morning

Someday I may wake up to hear the Spanish-tinged words in English: "D'ju wan' ekks weet yuour cafey?" ("Do you want eggs with your coffee?")

I have always loved a well-turned Spanish accent.

Introducing myself to a co-worker this year who gave her name as "Beeky" (Vicky).

Remembering Bro. James Saiz de la Mora starting language lab class in high school with "Tes-een, tes-een, one-too-tree!" ("Testing, testing, one-two-three!") and inevitably later "Deyo! You domby!" ("Deyo! You dummy!")

Savoring the lyrical, arginine accents of GM and SB, past co-workers at Mexico Energy Intelligence.

Even remembering the delightful confusion caused when I asked MEI's EA several times "Is the website back up?" and he said "Yez, ees beck op" (though it was still down); I finally deduced that he meant "The website is backed up."

Conversations in Mexico City elevators, a bus trip in Acapulco, a chaperoned date in Mexico City, a distributorship negotiation in South St. Paul, conference and escort interpreting in Minneapolis and St. Paul, a technology consultation in Medellin, dating FB and ML and just living and doing business in Houston. These are all wonderful auditory memories of the richness that I find in Spanish.

Questions: Lies and layoffs

Even though corporate management has decided to keep its employees in the dark about impending layoffs, your supervisor has seen fit to "do the right thing" and entrust the truth to you (or your entire team) -- requesting silence or discretion with the rest of the employees, of course. You appreciate your boss telling you, even though you are now complicit in his rebel cause of secrecy and can't discuss it amongst yourselves for fear of being overheard.

Is it acceptable to lie to your co-workers if asked (possibly point-blank) about impending layoffs?

Websites: Why Houston is worth it

Houston: It's Worth It accepts people's submissions (now numbering 1,440) about what's so great about Houston. My favorite is #129:

"Houston is worth it because if you are here, you want to be here. The heat, the mosquitoes, the traffic - sure, they might bug you, but you have more important things to do than whine about the weather. You are in Houston because you have great things to accomplish. You want to be part of one of the most philanthropic communities in the world. You want to be in a town whose doctors are known, respected, and sought out by the entire world. You want art in the most unexpected places, and more of it in the expected ones. You want to be in a place where maybe, just maybe, you can celebrate the New Year in shorts and flip flops with a margarita in your hand while sitting under a palapa next to the pool. You crave contact with an incredibly diverse population. You thrive on challenges, and see them as opportunit[i]es to grow and improve. Sure, it is easy to go to a city with a beautiful bay and soaring bridge. You never have to explain your goals if you head for the big apple. Your soul is drawn to some new-age-old-hippie-town. In those places, you let the city speak for you. Houston doesn't speak for you - you speak for it. You make it better, stronger, healthier, wealthier, more beautiful, and more dynamic. Houston is worth it because your dreams, goals, and accomplishments are worth it. Houston is worth it because it will do everything it can to make those dreams and goals possible, and it will celebrate you for your accomplishments, no matter who you are and where you came from. Houston is worth it because it knows YOU are worth it."

Books: Telling the Truth by Marvin Olasky

You can find the full text of Telling the Truth: How to Revitalize Christian Journalism by Marvin Olasky at the World magazine website.

Proverbs: Christ never said to hate anyone

Christ said to "hate the sin but love the sinner," yet many believers do fear or hate those persons they do not understand. Unconditional love, in fact, imparts love unconditionally; it is not married to the requirement that a person -- whether spouse, child, sibling, gay, or enemy, we are all sinners -- change before being loved. While we were still sinners, God loved us and Christ died for us. Our call is to do no less than the same for others.

Proverbs: God loves everyone. Period.

(Period!) (What part of Period don't you understand?)

Email: Face the day with a smile [AS]

[Life may "get in the way" every day, but tha]t helps us learn to make better decisions.

Email: Reinterpreting the past [KC]

I might work more than you’d [have] prefer[red] for a committed relationship, but I didn’t choose another over you. Please don’t tell me what my feelings are for you. Say I couldn’t give you the time you wanted, but don’t reinterpret my feelings and motives as the opposite of what they are just so you can feel good about yourself.

Press: Jim Wallis on the Democratic platform [NYT]

(excerpted from today’s New York Times)

To be specific, I offer five areas in which the Democrats should change their message and then their messaging.

First, somebody must lead on the issue of poverty, and right now neither party is doing so. The Democrats assume the poverty issue belongs to them, but with the exception of John Edwards in his 2004 campaign, they haven't mustered the gumption to oppose a government that habitually favors the wealthy over everyone else. Democrats need new policies to offer the 36 million Americans, including 13 million children, who live below the poverty line, as well as the 9.8 million families one recent study identified as "working hard but falling short."

In fact, the Democrats should draw a line in the sand when it comes to wartime tax cuts for the wealthy, rising deficits, and the slashing of programs for low-income families and children. They need proposals that combine to create a "living family income" for wage-earners, as well as a platform of "fair trade," as opposed to just free trade, in the global economy. Such proposals would cause a break with many of the Democrats' powerful corporate sponsors, but they would open the way for a truly progressive economic agenda. Many Americans, including religious voters who see poverty as a compelling issue of conscience, desire such a platform.

Similarly, a growing number of American Christians speak of the environment as a religious concern -- one of stewardship of God's creation. The National Association of Evangelicals recently called global warming a faith issue. But Republicans consistently choose oil and gas interests over a cleaner world. The Democrats need to call for the reversal of these priorities. They must insist that private interests should never obstruct our country's path to a cleaner and more efficient energy future, let alone hold our foreign policy hostage to the dictates of repressive regimes in the Middle East.

On the issues that Republicans have turned into election-winning "wedges," Democrats will win back "values voters" only with fresh ideas. Abortion is one such case. Democrats need to think past catchphrases, like "a woman's right to choose," or the alternative, "safe, legal and rare." More than 1 million abortions are performed every year in this country. The Democrats should set forth proposals that aim to reduce that number by at least half. Such a campaign could emphasize adoption reform, health care, and child care; combating teenage pregnancy and sexual abuse; improving poor and working women's incomes; and supporting reasonable restrictions on abortion, like parental notification for minors (with necessary legal protections against parental abuse). Such a program could help create some much-needed common ground.

As for "family values," the Democrats can become the truly pro-family party by supporting parents in doing the most important and difficult job in America: raising children. They need to adopt serious pro-family policies, including some that defend children against Hollywood sleaze and Internet pornography. That's an issue that has come to be identified with the religious right. But when I say in public lectures that being a parent is now a countercultural activity, I've found that liberal and conservative parents agree. Rather than fighting over gay marriage, the Democrats must show that it is indeed possible to be "pro-family" and in favor of gay civil rights at the same time.

Finally, on national security, Democrats should argue that the safety of the United States depends on the credibility of its international leadership. We can secure that credibility in Iraq only when we renounce any claim to oil or future military bases -- something Democrats should advocate as the first step toward bringing other countries to our side. While Republicans have argued that international institutions are too weak to be relied upon in the age of terrorism, Democrats should suggest reforming them, creating a real International Criminal Court with an enforcement body, for example, as well as an international force capable of intervening in places like Darfur. Stronger American leadership in reducing global poverty would also go a long way toward improving the country's image around the world.

Until Democrats are willing to be honest about the need for new social policy and compelling political vision, they will never get the message right. Find the vision first, and the language will follow.

Jim Wallis, the editor of Sojourners magazine, is the author of God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It.

Relationships: Mawwiage is what bwings us togethew...

(That’s a line from The Princess Bride.)

I firmly believe that men and women can get along in relationships much better than they generally do. There is a path to happiness, and I believe it avoids all paths to grief. This is not to say that good relationships don’t have challenges and struggles; but healthy partnerships do not build themselves around conflict and destruction as their centerpiece.

Guys, gals, don’t go messing outside of your marriage -- and whether you’re single or married, don’t try to get anyone else to mess with you outside of theirs. Not only is it wrong -- and it crosses societal and sacred boundaries -- but it messes up the lives of others, too often affects children, and has far-reaching negative effects you can’t foresee. Don’t go there, guys. Don’t go there, gals. Ever. Please.

Don’t visit your unhappiness on others by seeking what you think is happiness (but is basically selfishness) in another. Find your own happiness and place in life, then bring that to the table as something positive while you hope for a partner. Come to the table with your strengths, not your weaknesses. Come from generosity, not need. Respect yourself and respect others.

Love is giving as well as receiving. Don’t be takers. Love grows when you give it away.

By the way, I define love as “wanting what’s best for the other person.”

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Trivia: My worldview is Cultural Creative

You scored as Cultural Creative. Cultural Creatives are probably the newest group to enter this realm. You are a modern thinker who tends to shy away from organized religion but still feels as if there is something greater than ourselves. You are very spiritual, even if you are not religious. Life has a meaning outside of the rational.

Cultural Creative
















What is Your World View? (updated)
created with

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Trivia: How I live my life

How You Live Your Life

You have a good sense of self control and hate to show weakness.

You're laid back and chill, but sometimes you care too much about what others think.

You prefer a variety of friends and tend to change friends quickly.

Some of your past dreams have disappointed you, but you don't let it get you down.

Prayers: Celtic caim of the Trinity

(via AnamTuras on Yahoo Groups)

O God,
the Source of Life,
Encircle us.
Keep peace within our minds
Keep strife outside.

O Christ,
the Word of Life,
Encircle us.
Keep love within our hearts
Keep hatred outside.

O Holy Spirit,
the Breath of Life,
Encircle us.
Keep harmony within our lives
Keep discord outside.

+ In the Name of
God, the Source of Life,
Christ, the Word of Life
and the Holy Spirit, the Breath of Life.
O All-Holy Trinity
Glory to You.


Monday, August 01, 2005

Weblogs: Never-ending chronicle of church-related crime

(via Bobo's World) No one likes bad news -- particularly Christians in la-la land -- but righteousness cannot be attained where sin fails to be identified and expunged. How sad that crime happens in churches at all, but moreover that some churches attract liars and grifters, given the naivete of some pastors and believers. Someday I may tell the story of our Catholic parishioner in Minneapolis who buried bodies in his back yard, within a block of the church.

Weblogs: Helpful tips for social interaction #2

(via Intergalactic Hussy, a librarian weblog) "When you start insisting that your companions refer to you only as Googlor, Mistress of Internet Information, it's probably time to stop drinking."

(Just so she's not Barney Google -- "with his Goo-Goo-Googly eyes.")

Musings: Entitlement vs. self-esteem

I speak with a lot of people, and everyone I've met (including myself) has some issues in some way with self-esteem (some more than others).

Entitlement seems to me a better term than self-esteem, even though the two mean the same thing. Entitlement implies feeling one is not entitled to the same considerations as everyone else and is therefore "less than" others; self-esteem seems to denote this phenomenon working in the opposite direction (feeling "less than" and therefore not worth the trouble usually accorded to others).

For example, introductions and small talk are sometimes hard for me because I don't feel "entitled" in the same way that more gregarious people do; or maybe it just goes back to fears of childhood ridicule and rejection. Yet we are all entitled to pursue happiness and enjoy it where we find it; and anyone who tells or tries to convince any person otherwise is untrusting or misguided. (You may tell me that a certain action or decision is not in your interest, or mine; but trying to persuade another that enjoying friends or laughter is selfish or immoral is itself selfish and immoral.)

The answer is never so much a huffy self-emphasis that says "I deserve this" but a calm inner confidence that assumes and exudes equality and says "I'm worthwhile." True friends will back you up on this.

Weblogs: The dangers of dating a lawyer

(via Foxylawyer)

Another great email from my law school friend. This one demonstrates the perils of dating an attorney. I myself have never dated a lawyer.

From: "Dana [redacted]"
Date: June 12, 2004 8:44:11 PM PDT
Subject: FW: Invoice 6/12/04

Just to give you an idea of what dating life is like in June 2004 -- This is an email I received from a guy who I went out with ONE TIME from Jdate -- No worries, I am definitely sending him a money order -- not a check with my home address on it!! Calgon, take me away!!

Subject: Invoice 6/12/04
Date: Sat, 12 Jun 2004 17:15:59 EDT

Dear Dana:

On June 5, you agreed to accept dinner, paid for in full, by me, based on your stated offer that we would go out again. In that you have ignored all overtures to said follow up meeting, you are hereby considered in breach of contract.

To that end, you are being invoiced for 50% of the cost of the dinner,
pursuant to the offer. For the record, the offer presented you with the
option of not going out again and paying for half of the dinner, or going out again and not paying at all. You accepted these terms, choosing to go out again, as stated above, but have since failed to deliver your end of the agreement. In that this was merely a promise to meet, and not a promise to marry, the agreement is binding under New York law and does not require a written agreement (i.e. statute of frauds).

Furthermore, this is absolutely not a joke.

Your share is 50% of $74.51 which is a total of $37.25. Payment in full is expected within 30 days.

You may remit to:
Andrew [redacted]
[redacted] Greenwich Street, #4d
NY NY 10012

Email: Chandu Thota's weblog

Thanks but again, where are they? How do I get them?

You understand what I'm saying? It's not enough to say "get and place XYZ"; you should point to or display what you are [supposedly] providing and instruct where to place it. I can't believe I'm the first person who has observed the total lack of specifics and particulars.

[8/1 partial reply]

7/21 you say to "simply add geo.position tags" to my blog. where are these and where do they go?

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Gibberwocky: pevin

Proverbs: You've lost perspective if you can't find humor in a given situation

Corollary: A loss of humor is directly proportional to a loss of perspective.

Email: Focus and tangents [SD]

Words are important to notice with me. When I say "part" or "some" or "a bit," it does in fact mean "not all."

I need to deal with the big picture. For instance, why peel a sackful of potatoes when just one will do?

I go off on tangents all the time. It's about communicating what you feel like and not fearing what the other thinks. I'm just reserving the right to choose my own time and avenues for communication.

I said I am going to respond to what I feel is important. This is no different than what anyone does. I am going to stop doing 500% and try to do 100% as most people do.

Your intelligence has nothing to do with [blonde] hair color. (Irish are not quick-tempered because of having red hair.)

Yes, ideally we are all students to some degree. My point is that a greater-to-lesser degree is what makes equals turn into teacher/student.

I have always said tangents (or anything you want to say) are fine. Don't apologize please.

I assure you that I don't tell blonde jokes or think in that vein at all. I don't know why people play into such stereotypes.

Yes, it's common professional knowledge that insecure people were abused and, once having learned that behavior, may keep inflicting it on themselves and others.

Email: Wrapup and pitch [KP]

Those are seven great principles [in Joel Osteen's book]. He's beginning to sound like Robert Schuler. ;-)

Be good -- or just be sneaky.

Email: Weight loss vs. a healthy life [SD]

Just do it! When we were young, our health took care of itself without our having to work at it; we lived on a fine-tuned edge without effort. Well, now we have to pay attention to it.

It's never about weight, solely weight (and losing it); it's about being healthy, and that means healthy sleep, diet and exercise habits. Miss any of those and they will snowball into weight and other systemic problems.

Email: Unity and the unchurched [KF]

I don't have a lot of experience with Unity services or beliefs yet. I am aware that every other denomination does not consider Unity persons to be "real" Christians (esp. since they not so much allow visitation by but condone membership of pagans, atheists, Muslims, Hindus, and so on). I've also found some wacky beliefs and personal hangups in almost every Unity person I've met. I understand this needn't apply to you though.

The rest of Christianity in fact teaches that Christ was fully human and fully divine; he could have chosen to sin ("miss the mark") at any time but didn't. (Sweating blood in Gesthemene is supposed to suggest how hard he struggled with the temptation to quit and save his skin.)

I do believe that Unity reaches people that the mainstream church does not or cannot. The church is generally unaware of its sins of omission or commission and is in fact responsible for offending, chasing away, or failing to adequately reach out to the majority of unchurched persons. (The academic world has worked to branch out into many effective teaching styles beyond the simple lecture format, but I can count on one hand the number of evangelical churches in Houston that are breaking new ground in preaching and teaching formats that creatively address the questions and needs of the unchurched.) I am less concerned with socializing with people who belong to the same denomination or believe the same things; [I am] more concerned with making friends who share a mutual integrity and character which include tolerance and the ability to collaborate over commonalities more than differentiate over dogma. In a word, any Christian who believes, without knowing me, that he speaks to God more righteously and personally than I do, and therefore has the right to speak for God and to pronounce that I am going to hell, probably isn't my kind of Christian -- or the Lord's (but let's not get into a "he said, she said" thing).

The computer industry (esp. Silicon Valley) has been in a severe decline or depression since the dot-com crash four years ago because its fast-paced competitive edge is difficult to maintain. (I believe it cannibalizes itself as well as other industries.) I am seeing salaries lower than those of 20 years ago as a rule. This is what people don't get when I say things are slow. Almost everyone I know has been laid off or left the industry due to lack of work. Many reach our age and elect to do something less tech-centric and more "humane" or people-centric. I consider all options.

Internet: Toxins in "air spray" cans may kill

Tragically, the toxins in "air spray" cans used on computer keyboards have killed children who engage in "huffing" or "puffing" the contents. Amazingly, this is the only story among the many hundreds I've received by email relay over 14 years that has proven to be true (see Urban Legends).

Email: Teaching accountability [LC]

It's hard to define "these types of groups" but if it's Scientology or any control-oriented "in group" that defines its view as the only legitimate one by which the rest of the world must be proselytized -- well, I'm sure you get the idea. Accountability is good so long as originates from within the moral self and is not an externally inculcated mandate from the group -- again, that steals initiative, autonomy and responsibility from the individual. Particular groups and individuals have been responsible for egregious abuses in that area over the past 40-plus years.

Writing: Happy Birthday, J.K. Rowling

(from The Writer's Almanac) "It's the birthday of the novelist J.K. (Joanne Kathleen) Rowling, born in Chipping Sodbury, England (1966). She's the creator of Harry Potter, who, in the first book about him, is an orphan forced to live with his aunt and uncle, Petunia and Vernon Dursley at Number Four, Privet Drive. He sleeps in a cupboard under the stairs. For the first ten years of his life, he's believed that his parents were killed in a car accident. But on his eleventh birthday, he learns that they were wizards and that they were murdered by a man named Lord Voldemort, who is trying to take over the world. The Harry Potter books follow Harry as he attends Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and learns how to use magic and tries to avenge his parents' death.

J.K. Rowling grew up in the suburbs of Bristol, England. She was telling stories when she was a little kid. She said, "The first story I ever wrote down was about a rabbit called Rabbit. He got the measles and was visited by his friends ... Ever since Rabbit, I have wanted to be a writer, although I rarely told anyone so."

She set out to be a secretary, learned French so she could get a job as a bilingual secretary, but she found that she hated office work. Instead of taking notes in meetings, she daydreamed and wrote possible names of fictional characters in the margins of her notebooks.

She was in her mid 20s when she took a four-hour trip by train across England, and the train stopped somewhere between Manchester and London. Rowling looked out at a field of cows and suddenly got the idea for a story about a boy who goes to a school for wizardry. She said, "Harry Potter just strolled into my head fully formed." She liked that it was a story about a boy who was powerless in the ordinary world but who gets to travel to a place where his power would be almost limitless. By the time the train trip was over, she had already invented most of the characters that would appear in the Harry Potter books.

She worked on the first one for about four years, during which time she got married, had a daughter, got divorced, and was living in Edinburgh as a single mother. She had to live on public assistance to finish the book. It came out in America in 1998, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, and J.K. Rowling became one of the best-selling authors of all time."

Trivia: I am the Mystical Communion church model

You scored as Mystical Communion Model. Your model of the church is Mystical Communion, which includes both People of God and Body of Christ. The church is essentially people in union with Christ and the Father through the Holy Spirit. Both lay people and clergy are drawn together in a family of faith. This model can exalt the church beyond what is appropriate, but can be supplemented with other models.

Mystical Communion Model


Servant Model


Herald Model


Sacrament model


Institutional Model


What is your model of the church? [Dulles]
created with

Musings: Omigosh it's the secret of life...!

Somewhere in the wee hours, working the night through (as is my wont), it came to me:

The secret of life is not trying to pack as much accomplishment as possible into a finite amount of time.

No, the secret of life is to recognize that a finite amount of time can only be filled by a finite number of accomplishments and priorities -- so choose the most important ones and deep-six the remaining 60-80 percent of your plans as untenable. Just never gonna get 'em done.

Funny how these epiphanies only come to us in the second half of our lives, after the boundless energy begins to ebb and we realize it's impossible to be superhuman and human at the same time.

Weblogs: You didn't know that either, did you?

(via Tacky Times)

Emus and kangaroos cannot walk backwards, and are on the Australian coat of arms for that reason.

Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history. Spades - King David, Clubs - Alexander the Great, Hearts - Charlemagne, and Diamonds - Julius Caesar.

The names of the three wise monkeys are Mizaru (See no evil), Mikazaru (Hear no evil), and Mazaru (Speak no evil).

Weblogs: Dope sick love - July 27, 2005: "Whenever I teach the public basic internet course I always reserve 15 minutes of free time at the end of class for pupils to practice what they've learned and explore the world wide web on their own. The last time I taught class I spent most of that final fifteen minutes trying to assist a homeless man obtain a account. He really had his heart set on setting up a profile but he was so high on heroin or methadone that he kept nodding off as I tried to walk him through the sign-up process. He was also so loaded that couldn't even manage to type his e-mail address in correctly, not to mention confirm it.

The fields looked something like this:
Confirm your e-mail: sketyahoo;!

If he ever managed to set up his profile I think it would be something like:

Lonely man currently in between places with lots of time on his hands and a giant monkey on his back seeks love from a special lady. Meet me at the library."