Self-tuning guitar

If you're both tone-deaf and incredibly lazy, you can now get a self-tuning guitar. Actually, now that I've read a little more about it, they look pretty useful.

Books on my shelf that I will never read (again)

5. How Stella Got Her Groove Back    Terry McMillan
I think I read this in high school. It's a trashy paperback involving an older woman and her sexual escapades with a much younger man. Why I read this in high school I have no idea-although I do vaguely remember being the younger woman in one relationship. (There was much less pornography, I'll tell you that). My advice--forget that the book and the movie even exist.

4. Jane Eyre    Charlotte Bronte
Now before you go ballistic on me, hear me out. I can't stand period pieces, they are not my style. Nevertheless, at the urge of some female friends, I gave this book a chance, not once, but twice. Let's just say if I were the main character, Jane Eyre would be about 200 pages shorter. I'm not very good at being 'proper'.

3. Invisible Cities    Italo Calvino
This book was required reading in the same 'Intro to the Novel' class as Jane Eyre. The premise--a long and very confusing conversation between Kublai Khan and Marco Polo. Enough said.

2. Me? Obey Him?    Elizabeth Rice Handford
I was given this book as a Christmas present by someone who had never read it. I really appreciated the thought, but somehow, I don't think this book is for me. Maybe it has something to do with these words in the foreword, written by the author's husband: "The author works hard from morning until late at night to carry out her duties as wife, mother, author, Sunday school teacher, choir member, and counselor to many women on every kind of subject…I have seen strong-willed, nagging wives changed into sweet, submissive mates after counseling with the author." (This guy would hate to be married to me.) Or maybe it has something to do with the cover.

1. The Order of Things    Barbara Ann Kipfer
This was one of Danny's impulse buys from the Truman bookstore. It is 376 pages of lists, from the 6 types of accounting to the 10 types of beer measurements. Care to drink a firkin (9.8 gallons), anyone? How about a hogshead (63 gallons)?

A poem

All that is gold does not glitter,
not all who wander are lost,
the old that are strong do not wither,
deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
a light from the shadows shall spring,
renewed shall be blade that is broken,
the crownless again shall be king.

-Bilbo Baggins

Emma tells a story

Story.mp3

Here's a story Emma told me yesterday. I wonder if Tolstoy was this creative when he was 2.

The Holy Observer

This post was written before I became an atheist and does not represent my current views. You can find more up-to-date posts on religion in my faith/skepticism category.

If you like satire like The Onion, but think the Christian sub-culture should be made fun of, too, then you might enjoy reading The Holy Observer. I especially like last month's Guide to Christian Capitalization. If you are either a) easily offended, or b) a big fan of the Trinity Broadcasting Network, then you may want to steer clear of The Holy Observer. (Thanks to Matt S. for the link.)

Tuesday is my Monday

This post was written before I became an atheist and does not represent my current views. You can find more up-to-date posts on religion in my faith/skepticism category.

Since Monday is my day off, Tuesday is the day when I come into the office, catch up on blogreading and email, watch the latest Strongbad email, and start thinking about getting down to business. I've got one more sermon in my Lord of the Rings series. I think it's gone well so far. Maybe when I'm finished I'll post my manuscripts.

After Sunday I'll start work on the church web site. This will probably take several weeks, but I'm excited about getting started. Brendan recommended that I use PostNuke, or something like it to organize and update the site. We haven't bothered with a church website up to this point because we don't want something that will just set there and never get updated or used. Thanks to Brendan's help with this Movable Type blog, I'm starting to feel up to the challenge.

Also, I've been enjoying the political discussions over at Brendoman.Com, especially between Gringo and Roland. It's been pretty educational for me.

Wanna play doctor?

This post was written before I became an atheist and does not represent my current views. You can find more up-to-date posts on religion in my faith/skepticism category.

Click here to perform a virtual knee surgery.

the urchin

This post was written before I became an atheist and does not represent my current views. You can find more up-to-date posts on religion in my faith/skepticism category.

Emma and I were playing computer games at nickjr.com and looking at digital photos when we found this cute one. She still wants to be called P-bob, and now Sara and I are Dora and Boots. Sara has been sick for the last 24 hours, but at least she's not as bad as Brendan.

Happy Friday the 13th

This post was written before I became an atheist and does not represent my current views. You can find more up-to-date posts on religion in my faith/skepticism category.

Take triskaidekaphobia, or fear of 13s, and combine it with a Friday, a generally well-regarded day of the week, and you get Paraskevidekatriaphobics, a deep fear of Friday the 13th. (Fear of splatter films of the same name is Jasonvoorhephobia.)

It's Friday the 13th, but not to worry

Isn't that the guy from...

This post was written before I became an atheist and does not represent my current views. You can find more up-to-date posts on religion in my faith/skepticism category.


He's been in over 50 movies, but rarely as the lead. He's good friends with John Cusack, who I am moderately obsessed with. (It's a tie between him and Jon Stewart). Here are my favorite Jeremy Piven-featuring films.

5. Very Bad Things
Okay, so I probably shouldn't like this movie. It involves a bachelor party gone wrong, a cover-up and other not-so-funny themes, yet this movie makes me laugh. I am truly a sick individual.

4. Grosse Pointe Blank
In this movie, Piven plays Paul, a pot-smoking real estate agent who is reunited with Martin (John Cusack), a hit man returning for his high school reunion.
Favorite line:
Martin: Debi's house.
Paul: Kinda crept up on you, didn't it?
Martin: No, you drove us here.
Paul: [pause] Yep.

3. PCU
Finally, a lead role (in an overlooked college movie about political correctness at its worst). Piven plays Droz, the leader of students who live in 'The Pit'.
Favorite line (which is oft-quoted at our house):
Droz: What's this? You're wearing the shirt of the band you're going to see? Don't be that guy.

2. Cupid
I'm bending the rules a bit; this is not a movie. Cupid was on for one season (ABC), and its cancellation rates right up there with My So-Called Life's on the "I can't believe they cancelled this show; if only the WB was around back then" list. Piven played a possible mental case who believed he was Cupid.

1. Say Anything
In one of the greatest movies of all time (completely uncontested), Piven plays Lloyd Dobler's (John Cusack's) friend Mark.
Favorite line:
Mike: I don't know you very well, you know, but I wanted to ask you - how'd you get Diane Court to go out with you?
Lloyd Dobler: I called her up.
Mike: But how come it worked? I mean, like, what are you?
Lloyd Dobler: I'm Lloyd Dobler.
Mike: This is great. This gives me hope. Thanks.

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