Wednesday, February 23, 2005

The Interview Game

The Official rules of the Interview-Game
1. If you want to participate, leave a comment below saying "interview me."
2. I will respond by asking you five questions - each person's will be different.
3. You will update your journal/blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions
6. I will answer reasonable follow up questions if you leave a comment.

1) Where are you right now - city, state/province, country? room? in the room? Details, details.

I am in Kansas City, Kansas, in die Vereinigten Staaten. The living room of my friends Paula & Adam's apartment. I am sitting in their comfy computer chair by the bookcase. Adam is watching Equilibrium on television, and I am occasionally peering over the couch to catch an interesting tidbit. I have taken over Paula's piano bench behind me with my overnight stuff. I came up for the Modest Mouse concert without a buddy to go with, and Paula was great to go with me. I'm wearing my kelly green MM tee with a buffalo. My favorite song of theirs has the buffalo in it.

"in this place that i call home
my brain's the cliff, and my heart's the bitter buffalo"
--Heart Cooks Brain

2) Do you remember your first flight? Where did you go? Were you scared?

I believe my first flight was when I was a fetus. My parents took me to New Zealand. It was a lovely trip, quite warm and comfortable. I think I slept most of the time. I don't remember being scared. Heck, my brain wasn't fully developed, though, and that might have something to do with it. Wait, no, I think a koala jumped out at me... that was pretty scary.

3) What are you really passionate about doing with your life? What keeps you from doing it most often?

I am passionate about creating, whether it's music or an afghan or a ruckus. and reading. and coffee. I freakin love coffee.

There's a page in my scrapbook from my semester in Austria that is purposely left blank in memorium to the pictures I was too scared to take. I think fear is definitely what keeps me from doing the things I love to do. More specifically, fear that what I create will be deemed as unimportant, unartistic by someone else.

4) Does it matter whether or not dogs see in color or black&white?

I automatically put myself in the place of the dog in order to answer that question. So I instinctively change the question to "Does it matter whether or not I see in color or b&w?" In the movie Equilibrium that Adam is watching, World War III has come to an end only to find human beings taking liquid "sense suppressants" so that they feel nothing. There are soldiers whose duty it is simply to destroy all works of art. In one of the first scenes of the movie, Christian Bale (he's gonna be Batman!) torches the Mona Lisa, and there's a close-up of her mysterious smile as the edges flicker and curl until the smile is gone. Color and ornament are forbidden. You hear scientific formulas being rattled off as the soldiers train to be the statistical best that they can be.

In the first season of Alias, Sydney is sent on a mission to an asylum to befriend an assassin named Shepherd who has been brainwashed to kill. Much like the main character of the Manchurian Candidate, Shepherd has been programmed to forget his killing sprees, but he is beginning to remember anyway. Shepherd begins to tell Sydney of these dreams he has been having in black and white where he is doing horrible things. Sydney then explains to him that he has been programmed to see in b&w while in Hyde-mode to distance him from his own actions.

Color is used in advertising to evoke desirable feelings from the consuming populace. There are whole chapters of books, heck, there are whole books devoted to telling hotels not to use fire red for their highway signs. Human beings are emotional beings. Seeing color is an emotional experience. The gospel story, a very emotional one, was given to us in color. Petra taught me that in eight grade. "Red is the color of the blood that flowed from the face of Someone who loved us so..." One of my first exposures to the gospel was the color flip-book that kids still make in Sunday school. Yes, it is significant that I see color. There's something very humanizing and loving about color. God created a world for us that is not merely clinical and adequate but one that is surpassingly beautiful. A world to be celebrated and enjoyed.

But back to your question, eh-hem, about dogs not seeing color... Maybe I'm reading into it too much to say yes, but I say yes, it is significant. It might not be as significant as the difference between the old covenant and the new one, but it is an example of our separation from Maggies and Rovers. I can experience the grace that is denied angels, and I can experience the beauty that is denied animals. Another blessing of being an image-bearer.

5) Who's your favorite Beatle? Why?

Ringo. He's a drummer. I tend to have a thing for drummers.

Humble Rodent

this is an audio post - click to play

Yes. Modest Mouse. I left Float On for the Stills on their answering machine, so I hope you'll understand.

I was a little disappointed that they didn't sound like the Lonesome Crowded West of six years ago. They've added a few instruments, including two drum kits. They're still eclectic, but they just sound kinda poppy now. It was no dance-fest like in the arkadelphia trailer.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Im Sicherheit und so weiter...

So my dad has flown his last flight as captain on the Boeing 777, and I got to be on it. I now find myself wanting to write deep, personal sentiments about his career and retirement in general, but mostly I just want to say that I'm proud of him. And it was a hell of a trip.

I think I was eight when my family took our first trip to Germany. We did a driving tour of the Rhine Valley. There were ruins of old castles and beautiful rolling green hills. I don't remember much of it because I had a bag full of books and a notepad of ... what's that paper called with all the squares ... graph paper. I loved making dorky pictures out of that stuff. And then there was the time the old guy who jumped into the driver's seat of the rental car with my mom and me. My dad and brother were inside an inn looking for a room. Next thing I knew, his buddy was in the backseat with me. My mom looked positively frightened. We couldn't understand a word they were saying. And then I just started yelling at the guy next to me: "Get off my Care Bear!"

Dad was promoted to the 777 as a check-airman several years ago. In the main cabin of the plane, there are 9 seats in a row. Two aisles divide the seats into sections of 2, 5, and 2. And if you're special enough, you can recline your seat in business or first class, which have fewer seats across and more leg room (first class looks like it's from the space age). I focus on the interior of the monster in my description because that's the part I know. If my dad were to describe it to you, there would be more words that contained numbers, and he would probably give you a little physics lesson, too. It's a very large plane and is used almost exclusively for international flights. American Airlines flies it to Bogota, Paris, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Osaka, and London. Airlines are all about seniority, so international flights are a privilege and tend to exhibit more experienced crews.

We were in Frankfurt for a full 24 hours. Night lasted four hours on the plane, and we arrived at 8 am Central European Time. We had a plastic cup of guten morgen wine on the bus to the hotel. Oh, I've missed European beds. It's a little bit like scooting Lucy and Ricky Ricardo's beds back together and having square pillows instead of rectangular ones. I sprawled out face down with my shoes still on, and Daniel flipped on the television. No, no Lucy. But we did watch a cheesy German soap opera for 30 minutes while our parents changed to go explore the town. The main character was a girl who had just broken up with her piano-playing boyfriend, and they apparently each wrote the exact same song while separated. She realized this when she showed up for a competition and heard him playing the same song... "How stupid!" I thought. Then I realized I had been following a cheesy German soap opera. :)

The stairwell sign read "Das Treppenhaus." Literally, the "House Where the Stairs Live."

Man, I love German.

to be continued...

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Better watch out cause I'm gonna say "Truck"!

Ah, Ben Folds... so amazing I don't yet have words. Maybe they'll come tomorrow.

Last night, I helped my brother survive an underwater seasnake attack. This was not just any seasnake, mind you. It was the Galapagal Terror Snake. The attack is still foggy (it must have been very traumatic), but I had just happened to bring the Galapagal Terror Snake locator map with me in my back pocket. The binding glows with the locating beacons of every known GTS, which is about 32. Only three of them, however, are known to live in this particular underwater region. And by precisely locating the snake that bit my brother, we were able to mentally telepath the antitoxin into his bloodstream. Amazing. Never before had the Galapagal Terror Snake locator map come in so handy, and never before had we discovered that we were mentally telapic. Mental telepathic. Mentapalathic.

Unfortunately for future underwater snake-bite disasters, the map self-destructed by rolling into a ball and screaming, "Enunciate!"

And then there was this beautiful man on tv on the research channel -- a beautiful, smart man. I didn't even mind so much when I realized he was lecturing on toe fungus. :)


Tuesday, February 08, 2005

The Tao of Nigel, Vol. II

me: "You played that really well, Nigel. What's this symbol in the left hand?"

Nigel: "Um, I don't know."

me: "Is it called ... a Nigel?"

Nigel: "Are you a replacement of my teacher or what?"

me: "Ok, it's actually an accent. What does an accent do?"

Nigel: "...cause my teacher would never say that."

me: "Oh, really?"

Nigel: "I read that ancient spirits have been known to take over bodies and they know everything about that person. They can even talk like that person."

me: "How would you know if I were a replacement?"

Nigel: "Look at me." I look up to find him staring into my eyes. "Let's see... when I poke your eyes with my finger, you will not scream." He grins mischievously. "The lines in your eyes are the same... no, either you're a really good replacement or it's really you."


Nigel: "Did you suffer from the ice storm?"

Saturday, February 05, 2005

yellow towels, pool, and such

I am blogging from the room of E. ESue, thank you for your most comfortable bed! I slept like as good as a rock sleeps (except not as long as a rock since that would be forever and you must come home to your own bed eventually). Cade wanted to use my cool new toothbrush but I wouldn't let him and chances of all chances i used the exact same yellow towel with "Elizabeth" emblazoned across the bottom as i did two years ago. huh. Who woulda thunk it... no backgammon or shots, though, only Randy's and some eight ball tips from our new friend Bill. i promise. nice weekend.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Almost as good as Laffy Taffy

actual spam lines? does anyone know anything about this? i guess i've never eaten spam...


Thursday, February 03, 2005

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Coffee Cup Concern Quelled

There seems to be some reader confusion surrounding the "Cup Incident" of Tuesday morning. Please, allow me to clarify:

This particular "cup" was a mug of the travelling kind. Yesterday morning, it was found it in a pool of its own dark, caffeinated blood in the westbound lane of 13th at 0800 hours. Authorities believe it to have been left on top of the vehicle of a thoughtless and hurried employee of some variety during their morning routine. The "cup" was last seen this morning against the curb, no more than 15 feet from the crime scene (this, judging from its placement and lavidity). Services will be held tomorrow morning in my car at 0815 hours as I drive home from teaching. The Mug family has asked that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to replace their loved one with the new-fangled synthetic QT 64-ozer. "If we're gonna do it again, we're gonna do it right!" was their mournful sentiment.

Thank you for your continued concern regarding this matter. Not only am I quite desperate for blogging material, but writing about this issue has been a catharsis for the rising bitterness against those that knowingly or unknowingly abuse their coffee containers.

Stop the violence. Hug your mug today.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

The Tao of Nigel, Vol. I

"This piano thing is a lot easier than I thought. If I could reach down deep to my first grade self, I would tell him not to be so worried about piano and not being able to do it. Look what I can do now! It's what Mozart could do!"

--Nigel, fourth grade

Moment of Silence Please

I have seen where coffee cups go to die . . . 13th between Woodlawn and Oliver.

Poor sap.