Diatribe free ice cream

August 26, 2006 at 4:12 pm (Day to Day)

There wasn’t a long diatribe on my bitter hatred towards ovaries and the gender that carries them so that should be an indication that things went just fine last night. I won’t get into details over what happened since the situation leading up to it were pretty simple, despite some of the complications that occured to conclude it.

Just one question: why do I always get the crying girls? I don’t mind an emotional person, especially if the situation warrants the emotions, but there are plenty of times that I swear are just a “cry” for attention.

Innapropriate situation
Me: So I pretty much think you smell funny, and your personality reminds me of Keanu Reeves in every action movie he has played in: a melodramatic bad boy that always has his personal raincloud following him.
Her: *CRIES*

Appropriate situation:
Me: I hear Michael Bay is making a new movie.
Her: *CRIES*

I think most people would agree that Michael Bay making another film is worth some tears.

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Five days later

August 25, 2006 at 5:03 pm (Day to Day)

The first week of school is finished. As always, class is maybe half of what makes school “school”. The UCM was one of my primary focuses this week. We stayed relatively busy all week, starting with the movie showing on Saturday, the school-wide welcome back party on Sunday, our first official UCM gathering on Wednesday, lunch on Thursday, and game night later tonight. I have very high hopes for this semester, both number-wise and, more importantly, quality-wise. There are even rumors that we have attracted girls! I believe part of that can be contributed to the fact that our building doesn’t smell like Mexico; in fact, it smells very nice. This can be a very busy semester with a myriad of opportunities to know Christ and make Christ known: worship, bible study, religion study, bible reading, scripture memorization, missions opportunities, and involvement with worthwhile social causes just to name the activities off the top of my head. I’m still getting used to the idea of me being an intern, being confused about some of the jobs I am required to do, but I think I am getting the hang of it.

Though Barton is not teaching my colonial America class, it is still going to be good—or as good as American history can get. Professor Means is a motivating lecturer and has a confidence that comes only from loving what he does and the material he is presenting. Social problems is going to be a “meh” class and probably the first sociology class I am not going to be particularly fond of taking. This isn’t Bentel’s fault, however. The class itself is just relentless to the attention span. Comparative cultures, on the other hand, is fascinating. Aaron is in the class, as well as a girl I met in death and dying. The class sparks a lot of dialogue and questions, which is wonderful to participate in.

Not much else I really want to talk about. Most things are excellent right now. That might change in about an hour though. I might blog up a really bitter diatribe about how much I hate women later tonight. Hopefully the outcome to this month-long-nearly-secret situation won’t require it, though.

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School’s dawn

August 21, 2006 at 11:51 pm (Day to Day)

The committee meeting last night went much better than the session retreat. I enjoy the people on my committee; they seem genuinely interested in the affairs the committee deals with. The meeting itself was about two hours long and included Progress. After reading through the annual report of the former missions and ministry committee, I realized that a lot goes on that I just didn’t know about. First Presbyterian does indeed care about the hungry and the poor. A lot of people are simply unaware.

Today was the first day of class and boy was I in rare form. I swear there are some days when practicality doesn’t even cross my  mind. I missed my nine o’clock class due to parking troubles on campus. So I went the UCM and then checked out a lot of the booths for Free Stuff Day. This is where I get a lot of my school supplies, primarily pens and notebooks. I also sign up for all the free giveaways. I think the funniest booth was from Life Community. They were giving away free tickets to an already free movie they were showing. Shady business right there…  I walked into the wrong class for social problems. I sat down and hung out with the sign language class for about fifteen minutes before making a scene and walking out. Dr. Bentel is my social problems professor. I have never had a class with him but have heard plenty of stories about his character and politics but not so much on his teaching style. The class won’t be bad but will require a lot of reading. I talked to Dr. Alford about my experiment after lunch. He was very excited about it and offered me so much valuable advice and ways to make it effective. He advised me to present my results at a couple of upcoming conferences if I get done in time. Not only does it look good on a résumé but it could also get published. One step at a time of course.

My Tuesday/Thursday schedule is a little more scattered. I get to start my day off with comparative cultures. Alford is teaching the class, and he said the student composition is pretty good. He is anticipating a good class. I get to end the day with world history from 1919-1939 at 3:15. This class can go so many ways, but I am hoping for the best. Add some choices in wellness in there and that’s my day.

A couple of people made some signs advertising the cookout on Wednesday. I even learned how to draw a hamburger with raw meat, lettuce, and tears that were supposed to be sesame seeds. You know, I was the kid in art class who got told, “at least you tried your best…” I just cannot draw, but I still made it unique to me. To add a bit of humor, I added, “Not a cult.” to one of the posters. This was endorsed by a drunk looking Oprah picture, but the world will never know. On another sign there was a borderline racist comment coming from an angry looking Samuel L. When is that man not angry, though? We put our signs up on campus and headed back to the UCM.

I ate La Fiesta with a friend and then came home to call it a night.

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Summer’s dusk

August 20, 2006 at 11:41 am (Day to Day)

My first foot into Presbyterian politics went down yesterday when I attended the elder retreat. It was a long session, lasting from nine a.m. until about three fifteen. I know they cannot be avoided, but church politics can be ridiculous at times. Anytime you gather about fifteen people and discuss the church, everybody has something to say and hardly anything gets done. In all fairness, we did get a lot accomplished. We consolidated the committees into six, and we laid out some solid short-term goals. I am co-chair of the missions and evangelism committee and have my first meeting tonight. Among other things, this committee deals with the UCM and other outreach programs. I am currently praying for some sort of guidance and will be relying heavily on the experience of the senior elder (Jo) for direction. This is something I would like to do whole-heartedly and not halfway.

It looks like the house has fallen through. After getting frustrated with all the problems of the house and lack of concern by the landlords, Kent has decided to stay in Vanoss. It’s also inconvenient timing for Nick which just leaves Jonathan and me. Two people living in a four bedroom house isn’t very intelligent and looking for roommates to fill the gaps is living a little too much on hope. Everybody has housing covered, but Jonathan was relying on this. He should have it temporarily covered, but he’s going to start looking for a new place starting tomorrow. I told him that I would still be willing to live with him if we could find a place for the two of us.

Even though I am still researching for my gender experiment, I am thinking about typing up a questionnaire to administer beforehand to get a good sample of what people think about sex (on paper anyhow). This will help me draw a hypothesis to experiment upon. I have a good idea what questions will be included, but I really wish I had the advice of a seasoned sociologist.

Friday began a long list of UCM activities to kick off the semester, starting with the feeding of the band. I didn’t attend it, but I hear it went well with about seventy showing up. Yesterday was move-in day at the dorms and as tradition dictates, the UCM was there to help. I was at the retreat and didn’t show up in time. It was also our movie night, showing Chronicles of Narnia. A couple of new people showed up, and I think we did a good enough job making them feel welcome and comfortable without seeming cultic and creepy. The block party is tonight, and I think we will be there to past out fliers to people. I’m not sure if I will be able to make it since I have a committee meeting at 6:15, and I hear they are long and grueling. Our first worship is Wednesday; I’m excited about having everybody back and am anticipating a good semester.

Alright, so I am not self-conscious about a lot of things; I’m able to take most things with a good sense of humor and don’t really care if a negative comment swings my way, but Friday night I was told I have a big forehead. Yes it was by a girl who I haven’t even known that long. Had she told me I was ugly or smelled like a terrorist I wouldn’t have cared all that much, but somehow the big forehead thing got to me. I immediately replied, “well you have a fat #$!” I wasn’t being serious, and I don’t think she even got nearly as offended as I did. That kind of killed the mood since we were both way too uptight. At least I don’t look like this guy!

By the way, I like my forehead and think it’s fine! But there is a surgery that causes the hairline to go lower, making my forehead much smaller… 🙂

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Proper sidewalk etiquette

August 16, 2006 at 3:30 pm (Day to Day)

All ECU veterans are well aware that the sidewalks of campus are mean and unforgiving. All it could take is one gesture or look that’s interpreted as hostile and you could end up sidewalk fodder for the custodian to clean up. That is why it is necessary to have an official document explaining proper sidewalk etiquette to all new students. We want to ensure safety as you walk from building to building. Keep these rules in mind as you walk past people on the busy sidewalks.

Stare past/around/at feet: I do not know you, and do not want to appear creepy. Alternate: I know you, but you have hurt my feelings in the past. Alternate: I know you, but we’ve done something that would make us feel awkward (e.g. make out). Alternate: I know you too vaguely to make eye contact.

Eye contact: I recognize you.

Upward jerk of chin: I took a class with you, or have met you once in some other capacity, but that’s as far as our connection goes.

Downward nod of the head: We are on speaking terms, but I don’t have time to stop and speak with you right now.

One wave of hand, waist level: Same as downward nod. Alternate: Same as double wave of hand, chest level on a busy day.

Double wave of hand, chest level: You’re a friend of a friend who I enjoy hanging out with in a group of friends.

More than two waves, chest level: Notice me! I know you well or I at least want to know you well. Alternate: I’m socially retarded.

Verbal exchange, short: I feel the need to be polite with you. No need to offend you by ignoring. Alternate: We’ve met in the last couple of days, but during that time we’ve hung out for at least a moderate length of time. Alternate: We’re in a class together, and I’m making small talk as we walk to different classes. Alternate: We’re in a class together, and I’m making small talk as we walk to different classes; I would like to ask you on a date but don’t know you well enough yet to do so. Alternate: We’re in a class together, and I’m making small talk as we walk to different classes; I think that I’d like to be your friend.

Verbal exchange, long: You are my friend. Alternate: You’ve pissed me off. Alternate: We’re reconciling. Alternate: We’re in a class group together, and we need to coordinate something.

Hug: meaningless; ambiguous; females use it in any and all contexts.

Kiss, short: We’re dating or will soon be. Alternate: We’re close friends with a lot of history behind us.

Kiss, long (with or without tongue): We’re dating or will soon be. Alternate: We’re close friends with a lot of history behind us. A lot. Alternate: We’re more or less acting out our immature fantasy of what college should be, full of meaningless making out.

Standing side by side, holding hands, on a grassy area, under the shade of the trees, surrounded by smiling friends: I want to spend the rest of my life with you.

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Finger painting and egg rolls

August 15, 2006 at 4:44 pm (Day to Day)

The painting is finally coming along at UCM. I went up there early in the afternoon to find an empty building with no activity. I fired up my MP3 player to keep me company and finished one of the walls. I was a agitated since it took about five days to get a single wall done. I thought the week was going to be full of late nights and grumpy friends if finishing before Saturday was conceivable. As I was taking the tape off, Katie walked in and joined by taping up another wall. Not long afterwards Jacob and Aaron came in from work. Katie, Jacob, and I started getting after it pretty fast. Things went by so smoothly with three people. We did those little annoying parts of the wall that were required to be done by hand since they were too small to be sprayed. Pip and Scott showed up around 6:30 to add their hands. Pip got to spraying while Scott, Jacob, and I kept painting by hand. Pip and I got into an argument about weight/fat loss and muscle gain. It was pretty invigorating. The disagreement was pretty simple (and pretty pointless): he believes you can lose weight and fat while gaining muscle; I believe you cannot bulk and cut at the same time—you can either lose body fat% through a caloric deficit (by exercise, diet, or both) or gain muscle and bf% through a caloric surplus. I’m not going to rebut him on my blog because that would just be ridiculous since he doesn’t read it. It was fun to about something that didn’t really matter, though. It was one of those argument that we both knew didn’t matter, but we wanted to make sure the other person got our point. It was also one of those argument that we both knew wasn’t going to upset the other so we kept going. We took a break to go eat Chinese food once Beach showed up. I’m pretty sure I ate about ten pounds of food. Buffets+Rob=

 

We painted until we ran out of the primary color we were using, sandy yellow. We were going to go see World Trade Center but decided to postpone it until tonight. Pip and I went to Blockbuster to rent Inside Man and pick up one of Pip’s chums who was visiting from out-of-state. The movie was pretty decent , though I fell asleep for about fifteen minutes of it.

I gave blood at OBI yesterday. I was a little frustrated by my blood pressure and pulse rate. My blood pressure was 128/72. When I gave blood back in December it was 112/68, 139/75 in March, and 124/72 in June. The increase in March was due to being under a lot of stress, but life has been pretty stress-free lately. I think the reason for it being so high this time is because I lifted about two hours prior to giving blood which increases pulse rate and blood pressure. My pulse rate was 77, about twenty BPM higher than it usually is. I’m not too worried about it, but I think hypertension runs in my family. If I keep my exercise decent and my diet relatively clean, I should be alright—though last night’s buffet was NOT keeping it clean.

Here’s a question I threw out to somebody the other day: if there was no reward of heaven, would you still be a Christian?

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Just who was Jesus?

August 14, 2006 at 12:38 am (Day to Day)

“Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
Jesus’s disciples (1st century, Mark 4:41)

“Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, ‘Who do the crowds say I am?’ They replied, ‘Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life.’”
Early speculation about Jesus (1st century, Luke 9:18-19)

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.”
St Paul (1st century, Colossians 1:15-16)

“God has revealed himself in his Son Jesus Christ, who is his Word issuing from the silence…”
St Ignatius of Antioch (died 110)
I find it funny that there are those who believe Constantine the Great diefied Christ at the Council of Nicea. Ignatius certainly believed that Christ was Lord over 200 years prior…

“The Lord has turned all our sunsets into sunrise.”
Clement of Alexandria (150-215)

“Jesus whom I know as my Redeemer cannot be less than God.”
St Athanasius (296-373)

“Jesus has now been celebrated about 300 years, having done nothing in his lifetime worthy of fame, unless anyone thinks it is a very great work to heal lame and blind people and exorcise demoniacs in the villages of Bethsaida and Bethany.”
Julian the Apostate, Roman emperor (331-63)

“He who alone was free among the dead – because he was free to lay down his life and free to take it up again – was for us both victor and victim… and it is because he was the victim that he was also the victor.”
St Augustine (354-430)

“Christ is the great hidden mystery, the blessed goal, the purpose for which everything was created.”
St Maximus the Confessor, Byzantine theologian (580-662)

“I believe in… Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord. Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost. Born of the Virgin Mary. Suffered under Pontius Pilate. Was crucified, dead and buried. He descended into hell. the third day he rose again from the dead.”
The Apostles’ Creed (6th or 7th century)

“O hidden strength! A man hanging on a cross lifts the weight of eternal death; a man fixed on wood frees the world from everlasting death. O hidden power!”
St Anselm (1033-1109)

“Jesus was lost in his love for God.”
Rumi, Sufi poet (1207-73)

“When I was abandoned by everybody, in my greatest weakness, trembling and afraid of death, when I was persecuted by this wicked world, then I often felt most surely the divine power in this name, Jesus Christ… So, by God’s grace, I will live and die for that name.”
Martin Luther (1483-1546)

“Christ teaches and commands us to learn of him, for he is meek and lowly in heart and so shall we find rest to our souls.”
Schleitheim Confession, 1527

“No one else holds or has held the place in the heart of the world which Jesus holds. Other gods have been as devoutly worshipped; no other man has been so devoutly loved.”
John Knox, Scottish reformer (1514-72)

“Not only do we not know God except through Jesus Christ;
We do not even know ourselves except through Jesus Christ.”
Blaise Pascal, French mathematician and philosopher (1623-62)

“Gentle Jesus, meek and mild…”
Charles Wesley, hymnwriter (1707-88)

“Socrates dies with honor, surrounded by his disciples listening to the most tender words -the easiest death that one could wish to die. Jesus dies in pain, dishonor, mockery, the object of universal cursing – the most horrible death that one could fear. At the receipt of the cup of poison, Socrates blesses him who could not give it to him without tears; Jesus, while suffering the sharpest pains, prays for His most bitter enemies. If Socrates lived and died like a philosopher, Jesus lived and died like a god.”
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, French philosopher (1712-78)

“The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as His father, in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.”
Thomas Jefferson, American founding father (1743-1826)

“I know men and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere man. Between him and every other person in the world there is no possible term of comparison. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I founded empires. But on what did we rest the creations of our genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ founded His empire upon love; and at this hour millions of people would die for Him.” My favorite.
Napoleon Bonaparte, French emperor (1769-1821)

“If Jesus Christ were to come today, people would not crucify him. They would ask him to dinner, hear what he had to say, and make fun of it.”
Thomas Carlyle, British historian (1795-1881)

“I believe there is no one deeper, lovelier, more sympathetic and more perfect than Jesus – not only is there no one else like him, there never could be anyone like him.”
Fyodor Dostoevsky, Russian novelist (1821-81)

“Jesus died to save men – a small thing for an immortal to do – and didn’t save many, anyway. But if he had been damned for the race, that would have been act of a size proper to a god, and would have saved the whole race.”
Mark Twain, American author (1835-1910)

“Jesus died too soon. If he had lived to my age he would have repudiated his doctrine.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher (1844-1900)

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A land flowing with milk and excuses

August 13, 2006 at 5:47 pm (Day to Day)

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Home is where you make it

August 13, 2006 at 5:31 pm (Day to Day)

David preached an intriguing sermon this morning on the hypostatic union. He stopped short of quoting the Council of Chalcedon. He talked a little bit about the early church heresy of the Monophysites, that Christ’s humanity was non-existent due to his divine nature overriding it, and the Nestorians, that Christ was separately God (I think they called this Logos) and separately man while appearing in physical form. I thought he presented the incarnation very well. He didn’t use the ten dollar words, but he didn’t have to. He was persistent in teaching that while parts of Christian theology are paradoxical and unexplainable, they are still true. For example, God cannot die or be resurrected, but Christ did both of these. I dissent from this opinion. I believe that there are undoubtedly antinomic relationships within Christianity, but I also believe they can be rationalized. Leaving room for faith is always a good thing, though.

There were a lot of junior high kids there this morning. I am curious about the direction the youth group is headed. Instead of relying on a pool of volunteers, it would be great if one or two people could volunteer to fill a lot of the duties of a youth minister. Having a different person every week makes it difficult for close relationships to develop, and it always feels out-of-place discussing personal or spiritual drama with somebody who you don’t share some kind of close bond with. I’m praying about my involvement with the youth, but the desire simply is not there. So I am praying first for the desire since without passion there is no love. I will go from there if God places a desire within me.

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A social experiment

August 13, 2006 at 12:44 am (Day to Day)

Michelle has a few options for her cancer treatment. It hasn’t spread far enough to require a hysterectomy and may be treatable with surgery. She goes to the doctor September 8 for one more consultation and then treatment, whatever it is, will began not long afterwards. This is relieving since the thought of chemotherapy is upsetting. Ideally, chemo kills the patient but just a little bit slower than it kills cancer.  Apparently she won’t have to worry about this since it was caught pretty early stage. Michelle and I had a fun past two days, or at least very good considering what was involved. We went to Oklahoma City yesterday to the doctor. I read through a three year old copy of Time Magazine while she got some blood work done and hung out with the doctor. We ate at Charleston’s, one of my favorite restaurants. She wasn’t nearly as excited about the food as I was. We loafed around the mall in Norman for about an hour before coming back home. I went to bed roughly around 8:30 and didn’t wake up until 9:00 this morning. It was a wonderful, life-changing sleep.  I finally caved in and watched Talladega Nights with her. It was much better than Anchorman, but it wasn’t anything that I’ll remember in five years.  

Tomorrow it is back to the UCM for more painting. We should be able to get it done on time now that the hardest part is done.

I have a sociological experiment I want to pursue next semester. The topic is the differences in gender sexuality, specifically the libido. Unfortunately, it’s going to be a little complicated unless I get some help. I want to talk to Dr. Petrowski or possibly Alford (since he taught human sex.) about how to set it up. Beach has gone through the sociology program, having taken the class on research and methods. Perhaps if he has time he could help and give some advice. I also want a partner in crime for this project, preferably a female for the sake of perspective. First things first, I am going to focus a few weeks on the study of the human libido. Libido is a relatively new term coined by Freud I think. Why are some more sexually-driven than others? Without researching, I think testosterone plays a key part, which is practical since males are considered more sexual than females.

I want this experiment to be active and not something in which people simply fill out a silly piece of paper. Here is a premature example of how I would this to be set up: six individuals, three males, three females, varying sociologically. I am not sure how they will vary, but part of the experiment is contingent on the fact that the participants do not have static sociological traits. These individuals will be predetermined by my partner and me, most likely each of us choosing the opposite sex. These individuals will be “in on it.”  Looks is something to be kept in mind, either all varying in physical appeal or all relatively close since Salma Hayek would probably get a better response than Grandma Death. They will approach members of the opposite sex and through a series of flirtatious gestures, ask them 1) if they want to go out on a date and 2) ask them to “go back to my place…” or some other gesture suggesting a sexual contact. I am not sure if it will be an either/or scenario or what. Ideally, I would like these people to fill out a silly little paper after the fact to gain a basic sociological profile. If I do this experiment in Ada, I would like the six individuals to be out-of-town for a number of reasons. Primarily there is a concern that word gets out and these people get a bad name. Ethics is something I have to keep in mind. I would like to remain as ethical as possible without resorting to just the silly little paper. What people write down on a piece of paper and what they do in real life are many times different.

I am going into this believing my results will be somewhere along the lines of…

(Single) Male:
                Willing to go on a date – ~55-65%
                Willing to engage in spontaneous sex – ~35% 

(Single) Females
                Willing to go on a date – ~50%
                Willing to engage in spontaneous sex <5%

 I believe gender will be the biggest determining factor.

Organizing this is going to be tough and require some people with a lot of balls (and ovaries), especially from the six individuals. I’ll hopefully report some progress within the next month. I will research what I can on the libido within the next four weeks. Afterwards, I will select an assistant, write up a preliminary report, hypothesis, and experiment, present our outline to one or more of the sociology professors for critique, and revise it. If no female I personally know in the sociology department is willing, I may ask one of the professors for advice on who might be willing. I would like to know my partner, however.

Currently I am a little scatter-brained and unorganized at the moment. This will be resolved in the coming weeks. I have a lot of books and articles I would like to read but unfortunately I doubt the ECU library has many of them on hand. Interlibrary loan will help alleviate this deficiency.

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