Monday, December 26, 2005

New Year's Resolutions

It wouldn't be right to make new ones without telling you how I did on last year's resolutions.

2005 Resolutions:

1. Read the entire Old Testament - I read a lot of it but was side-tracked by a couple of good issues of some magazines I subscribe to. All I have left are the poetic books and the divided kingdom. I'm sure most of you have no idea what I'm talking about...anyway...on we go.

2. Get in shape - I lost 30 pounds and am much stronger due to some manual labor. As for stamina...that's a whole other matter.

3. Take a motorcycle trip down Hwy 101 and visit every cheesey roadside attraction including, but not limited to, the Trees of Mystery! - Well, I bought a motorcycle and rode it to my mom's house...and stopped for gas.

4. Get my book published. Check it out here. - The book isn't published yet but is much closer now that the Advanced Reading Copy is out and in the hands of a publicist. 2006 will be the year...I'm guessing.

Here we go for 2006

1. Really get my book published...for real this time...and then shamelessly beg people to buy it. These are short stories and if you like my sense of humor and a light-hearted expression of faith then you may enjoy this book.

2. Spend more time with my mom and my family.

3. Go camping more this summer.

4. Learn to relax again.

As you can see my 2006 list is much more laid back, but not as easy for me as it might look. We'll see how it goes.

What are your resolutions?

Thursday, December 22, 2005

How people find me

One of my stat programs on my home site tells me what search strings people used to find my site. It really cracked me up to see what types of things people would use and then consequently land on my site. If I had to guess the demographic based alone on these statistics I can only conclude that my website is a favorite of 8th grade boys.

Here are the results below:

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Every year, the same dumb debate

Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays or Merry Xmas or Seasons Greetings.

As I'm writing this I learned that there are some people who are going to boycott a company 'Winter Party' tomorrow because of the deliberate exclusion of the word Christmas. There are things that all people must remember.

To the secularist: Christmas is hardly religious as most everything about the celebration is secular in nature. It's also an official US holiday so lighten up a bit.

To the Mainstream Christian: What about a Winter Party offends you so much? Didn't the Apostle Paul commend us to not judge others by the 'moons' or 'sabbaths' that they keep? Does the Winter season/solstice apply here?

To the Evangelical: Get off your high-horse. Christmas is an Orthodox holiday anyway and leaves little for you to celebrate when it comes to keeping Jesus the 'reason for the season.' Sneak a little rum into your eggnog and shut up.

To the innocent bystander: Go about your way, there's nothing to see here.

I wish you all a productive winter and a successful calendar change!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

I like my cat, though he's no Aslan

Aslan is of course the Lion in the Chronicles of Narnia stories. After seeing the movie my impression of Aslan may have exploited some flaws in my own cat. I like my cat, though he's no Aslan. Here I've listed some major differences between Aslan and my cat, Chesty.

Aslan the Lion

Chesty the House Cat

Aslan rescued Narnia from the evil White Witch, Jadis.
Chesty rescues hairballs from his stomach and routinely vomits them all around the house.

Aslan roared to rally his outnumbered army in an epic battle.
Chesty meows loudly every morning to rally me to fill his bowl with food.

Aslan died to save Edmund.
Chesty acts like he's dying when you pick him up or pet him when he's in a bad mood.

Aslan was a friend to all the animals of Narnia who were oppressed.
Chesty pretends that all animals incapable of feeding him don't exist.

Aslan's power brought Narnia out of a ever-present cold Winter.
Chesty routinely pees on the floor in front of the cold refrigerator.

Narnia - The movie or the book?

I have a reading disability. I'm never in a position to say something like "I liked the book better than the movie." because I never get through a book. I try to read every night and I find myself reading about three books a year. Think about that. That is what it's like to read like a 3rd grader. I won't get into the nuances of my reading problems because it's not as bad as it sounds. I have to some degree replaced traditional reading with what is popularly known as speed reading without knowing it.

I saw the Chronicles of Narnia last night. I've read the entire series and I can honestly say that the movie was not better than the book...It was the book. I was amazed that virtually nothing was left out and nothing really added. It was the book.

The movie has its critics but I don't care. I enjoyed the entire Chronicles of Narnia and consequently I enjoyed the movie too. I don't feel any geeky anxiousness to see the next installment in the movies, but I'm definitely looking forward to it.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

What I hate about Christmas

(Don't forget to read what I love about Christmas in a post below)

I hate trying to get a parking spot at the mall.

I hate it when Christians insist that Christmas be about the birth of Christ and nothing else. I'm a Christian. I have a credible academic background in both history and theology. Christmas is both secular and uniquely Orthodox (read - Catholic) in nature but making it solely about Christ is foolish. I'm still not certain why Evangelicals are all onboard with the Christ Mass holiday. Seems like something they'd more likely just shy away from like the Advent. That said, I'm grateful for the birth of Christ everyday.

I hate having to deal with my family on Christmas. I'd love to be able to just rent a family for the holidays. Pay a one time fee and they show up and have a great time and give lots of cool gifts and then go away.

I hate the time my grandma had to go to the hospital on Christmas day when I was seven years old. The whole days stopped and my mom let me open one present while everyone was gone. I opened it up and it was a cool game that required a ball that was conveniently missing. ARGH!

I hate having to get gifts for family members that show up on Christmas but never call or even send thank you notes for stuff during the year. Not that a gift from me requires anything in return but how would I know what they'd want anyway? I feel like getting them a $50 gift certificate to the Crap Store.

I hate being told "If you don't like it you can return it" right after I open a gift. I feel like such an ass as everyone sits around and wonders "does he like it?" I just want to say thank you and be grateful that someone else thought of me.

I hate Miracle on 34th Street and I hate It's a Wonderful Life. Blargh.

I hate the claymation Christmas specials. I liked them as a kid but sheesh, do they suck or what?

I hate tinsel.

Sugar cookies = crap.

What I love about Christmas

Writing what I hate about Christmas is too easy so I'll save that for another time.

I love lights specifically. They nearly hypnotize me as I look at them. Blue lights give me a very calm a laxitive almost.

I love giving gifts and I love wrapping them. I love cool wrapping paper with lots of different holiday colors.

I love trains. I'm putting a train around my Christmas tree this year. YEAH!

I love eggnog. That's right...I do.

I love the Christmas Peanuts special and the quote "...of all the Charlie Browns in the world, you're the Charlie Browniest." HA!

I love Handel's Messiah. Brilliant baroque music. If it aint baroque, don't fix it. Um, sorry.

I love that one salesgirl that tried to get me to buy some coat last year. I didn't need a coat, but ya know.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Real Tree or Fake Tree? - Need your help!

I've not had a Christmas Tree in 11 years. This year I'm putting up a tree..but what kind?

Since everyone who reads this blog are among the smartest people in the world...I need your advice.

Please respond with pros and cons and things that I need to consider.

A picture of what I end up with will follow in a future post.