New Year's Drone

So I just watched my (I'm ashamed to admit) less-than-one-hundredth, more than fiftieth, teen movie. On New Year's Eve. Now, that might be an acceptable celebratory experience for the intended audience, say, a twelve-year-old (although, most twelve-year- olds have decidedly less lame lives than me). But I am twenty-four and married. And where is my husband? Playing in a PlayStation2 tournament with said highschoolers. At least its football and not one of those role-playing games, right?
When did this become the norm? Have I settled for something less than what I set out to attain? What exactly did I want from this union? These are all questions fit for pondering at a time other than 12:44 a.m. on the first day of the new year…then again, perhaps it is the best time. Let's travel back in time to some of my finer New Year's experiences (cue Wayne's World reference)
The first I can remember was spent replacing monthly specials on signs at an outdoor eatery. At midnight, because, of course, changing the signs too soon might mean a customer could order a special too early and interrupt the space-time continuum. (And just when did that phrase become a cliché, I'd like to know.) I believe that night included some kissing, but it was the confused, lovesick, uncomfortable kind. Between a girl and two guys…one of which was seven years older. But we won't stay here too long because number two is on its way.
My parents had the bright idea of getting my wisdom teeth out (all four of them, a major ordeal) over Christmas break from college. On New Year's Eve, I might add. At midnight, I saw Dick Clark's magic ball drop, then promptly made a beeline for the bathroom where I proceeded to lose what little lunch and dinner I managed to hold down. All the consequences of a New Year's hangover without any benefit from the party.
Here is the bright star night (cut the sarcasm, this is the real deal): my fiancée cooked me dinner while I prepared myself by listening to the soundtrack from Rent. We listened to Elvis Costello, watched the obligatory cheesy movie starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, then laughed at all the crazy kooks on the news who just realized that the year 2000 had come without major cause for alarm, and that their bathtub full of distilled water was completely unnecessary.
How did the romantic man I married become such a fuddy-duddy? This question is not even worth asking, because it is based on false assumptions (some of which were, and still are, being made by me). False Assumption # 1. My husband has some sort of fascination with teen life, indicated by his choice of New Year's activity. Fact: His job involves molding and shaping the young minds of our community into something other than the thrill-seeking slobs they might otherwise be. Harsh, I know—but, I was a teenager once, and not so very long ago. # 2. I have some sort of fascination with teen life, indicated by my choice of New Year's activity. Fact: Yes, I do enjoy the occasional teen movie, because it demonstrates how much we think we would like romance to permeate life…then causes you to kick yourself for being sucked into the fantasy. No one looks like that when they wake up. People have bad breath. Arguments are not the end of the world, or the relationship. And couples cannot, I repeat, cannot be that cute in every aspect of their existence. It’s just not possible.
Am I crazy to think that one of the most romantic things he has ever done is to come home in the middle of this videogame fest and kiss me? Or to be anticipating his return as he slides into bed and we form our routine pattern of arms and legs and pillows in blissful slumber (minus the snoring, but we can't have it all, can we)? Romanticize New Year's all you want; I'll take a mildly romantic, but steady and attentive guy over what I thought I always wanted any day. If there's one piece of advice I think every girl should hear, it’s this, "Just keep looking for your 'Lloyd Dobbler'." If you want a perfect New Year, ring one in with him.

(By popular demand) Emma

Christmas loot

Here are some of the gifts that were exchanged in our family last week:Sara gave me Gigantic: A Tale of Two Johns, a DVD about one of my favorite bands, They Might Be Giants. She also gave me a "Jesus is my Homeboy" t-shirt, two sweaters and a game. My parents gave me Lord of the Rings Risk. Sara's parents, ever practical, gave me a car safety kit that includes jumper cables, tire inflator, first aid kit, flashlight, etc.Sara got a Saeco Via Veneto Espresso Machine, coffee, syrups, cups, etc., and a couple of DVDs. Emma got DVDs, stuffed animals, a toy farm, Blue's Clues stickers, a They Might Be Giants Book, and so much more that I can't even remember it all.So if you want to sip fancy coffee drinks, watch a geeky DVD, play LOtR Risk, and watch Emma swim around in all of her new toys, come on over to our house.

Holiday Snow Globe

Holiday SnowglobeClick to see a fun flash animation. Thanks to Brendoman.com for posting this link.

Tech Tip of the Day: Windows Update

It's important to install the security updates that Microsoft makes available at windowsupdate.microsoft.com/. This can keep you from being the victim of a hacker. Check this site often and install all Critical Updates. However, you're also given the option of installing Driver Updates. Since I was up to date on all critical updates, I thought I would download and install some updated drivers. Big mistake. One of the drivers was for my video card and the next time I rebooted the computer, my video card no longer worked. I spent a few minutes this morning with Gateway's tech support getting the driver changed back to the one I had before. Thanks, Microsoft, for providing an update that actually makes my computer stop working.So remember, get the critical updates, but pass on other updates from Microsoft unless you're sure you need them.

Did Michael Jackson join the Nation of Islam?

This article says he did, this one is not so sure. The Nation of Islam is famous for its high conversion rate among incarcerated Black men, so I guess this makes sense. . . .

RotK

Oh, by the way. I saw the Return of the King on Wednesday at 12:01 am. It's not too shabby.

I can't work this compruter! Dagnabit!

So I've installed Mandrake Linux on my old computer (233 MHz PII, 64 MB RAM, 6 G Hard Drive). I feel like I'm learning how to use a computer all over again. It's taking me forever to do simple things, like set the clock, change the speed of the mouse, open programs, etc. The more coplicated tasks, like installing software and setting up a dial-up connection are kicking my butt. But I'm enjoying the challenge. Hopefully someday soon I'l get connected andl make my first post from the Linux computer, but don't hold your breath.

Lord of the Rings: Movie, book, homily

This Tuesday

Sara and I are planning on going to see the Return of the King this Tuesday night at midnight. I think my brother will go, too. If anyone else is interested, give us a call. I've heard that this film is the best of the three. That's what Peter Jackson and Elijah Wood say, at least. My friend Brendan has seen the movie already, you can read about it here.

The Book

Right before each of the first two movies came out I reread the book. Since I'm looking forward to the movie so much, I had decided not to read the book, just so I wouldn't sit there and compare it to the book and be bothered by changes that the writers made. But then I got sick. I was sitting around feeling bored and I didn't have a book to read so I started reading the Return of the King. I didn't even intend to finish it, but I got hooked. This is such a good book. I'm almost finished with it now and I've been close to tears several times. If the movie adaptation is half as good as people say it is and half as good as the book, then we'll be in for a real treat.

Homily

Last weekend we had a retreat to plan church services for the next six months. During the brainstorming stage I mentioned that we could probably have a sermon that uses the Lord of the Rings to illustrate some biblical teachings. We all talked it over for a while and I guess people thought it would work, so I'll be preaching a three week series using the three books/films. I know Tolkien didn't write these stories as an allegory, but I think they'll work great for teaching concepts like the peril of temptation and addiction and the sacrifice that Jesus made to save the world. I'd love to have some more ideas, so if you know of any passages or scenes that I could use, pass them along. The series will start on February 8.Nai haryuvalyë melwa rë!

worst web site ever

My ISP, National Network Services has one of the worst web pages I've ever seen: www.gabs.net. Here's why I think it's terrible.Exhibit A: In the top left they've included their logo. It's totally pixelated and ugly. It takes about 20 seconds to get it at the right size or to use Photoshop to make a better logo.Exhibit B: In the top right there's a jumbled mess of animated icons, some of which are links and some of which are just there to make the page more ugly.Exhibit C: One of the icons in the top left links to the download page for Microsoft Internet Explorer, a crappy browser.Exhibit D: Another of the icons in the top right links to McAfee anti-virus software. This will cost people money ($99). Why not link to AVG Free?Exhibit E: Next there's a warning about the Blaster Worm. It does give decent instructions for installing the update that fixes the problem, but this problem is old. Most people dealt with this about 3 months ago.Exhibit F: The email addresses at the bottom of the page don't work. I tried emailing them to deal with something a few weeks ago and email sent to each of the three addresses was returned. Exhibit G: The phone numbers work, but what you get is an answering service, more often than not. Exhibit H: Look closely at the fine print. The second to last line says "Copyright 1997 CompanyLongName." When this site was designed (probably using something like MS FrontPage) the template said "CompanyLongName" and you're supposed to replace that with the actual name of the company. This is careless site design.All of this adds up to give me a real lack of confidence in my ISP. And I've been getting disconnected more and more recently. Aaaand, this is, I think, the most expensive ISP with a local number in Adrian. The real question is, why am I not switching right now? Any recommendations?

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