I wish I could remember a conversation well enough with my roommate from earlier today.

Something about her asking me if I got bit by a radioactive spider. Then I told her her superpower is an early period.
It was a nice, quick and witty exchange. 
You had to have been there.

Did everyone have a good leap day?

Did anyone observe Sadie Hawkins’s Day? I almost asked a guy out who was riding the subway with me. Almost.

Next time. Gosh, I hope it won’t take until February 29, 2012 to find me a man.

What’s the Likelihood?

So yesterday in seminary we learned about Elijah and his challenge to the priests of Baal to set their altar on fire.  The priests kept calling upon Baal, but the altar did nothing. They started their prayers in the morning and went until noon, at which point Elijah mocks them. Maybe your god doesn’t hear you, he says; maybe he’s traveling; maybe he’s sleeping. Then the priests end up cutting themselves and bleeding all over the place to get Baal’s attention. Still no fire. 

Then as evening came, it was Elijah’s turn. He poured water on his altar not just once, but three times. He called upon the Lord, and fire consumed the entire altar. 

Before class began, I showed the class a dry paper towel and a match. I asked them how easy it would be to set it on fire. Then I showed them a wet paper towel and asked them how likely burning it would be.
The other seminary teacher urged me to try it. So, I asked one of my students to try lighting the wet paper towel.

Well, the paper towel didn’t catch flame, but it DID singe. And I had to laugh, because I knew it wasn’t some miracle but the foiling of my object lesson. It was a fun object lesson.

It’s 23 degrees, with a wind chill of 11 degrees, and it’s going to get even colder through the night. We’re on March’s cusp, and I’m very, very sick of the cold. Winter could hurry up and be done. I’ve got folks visiting. You’ve got a month. You’ve already worn out your welcome.

More on The Diving Bell


Something is especially powerful about the ordinariness of getting through just one more day. This movie really impressed me. (There were maybe 20 people in the theater at the 5:50 showing at Lincoln Plaza Cinemas last night.) We have Jean-Do’s perspective, and we get to experience his caretakers and loved ones’ points of view. I also appreciate the monotony and frustration I felt (which somehow transformed into great empathy for the main character), because that’s the way Jean-Do’s life seemed to unfold – no major breakthroughs, no big flourishes. (He moves his head half a degree. He blinks with greater efficiency. He grunts.) Just vulnerability, all the time, for one more day. Yet, that’s one more day to imagine otherwise.

When he gets off the phone with his dad, who’s sobbing, and when we see through Jean-Do’s eye that it’s filled with tears and the room turns blurry, that really got me.

Brilliant film.

The Diving Bell and The Butterfly

Just got back from a viewing.
Visceral review: LOVED it.
The camera work was excellent.
The acting, directing, details.
All the nuances that make it feel like a rich, wonderful foreign film.
I hear the movie’s more diving-bell heavy and not so much butterfly, compared to the book.

I’ve got to read the book. It’s another man’s story of overcoming adversity.
But this, this is no other man.

The movie est en francais. Be prepared to read subtitles.
And to be completely sucked in.
And to laugh.
And to cry, of course.
All the “it” movies in my book make me cry.

Here‘s a more analytical review. It’s a bit spoilerish, fyi.


 Do these photos remind you of a certain classic horror film?

Y’all these cheepers were in Austin. AUSTIN. The flocks were enormous, and they were loud. They were rather chatty. They weren’t tiny little wrens or sparrows. They made me nervous. At least they weren’t pigeons. And they didn’t actually swoop down and attack me.

Not Another Church Story

My roommate returned from church and shared a story with me in which one of the speakers read a story with words in it like lap dance and and stripper and street words for various drugs.

It was a completely inappropriate story for church. I’m relatively open-minded, but people come to church to worship, to be uplifted and edified. Members of the congregation walked out of the chapel during your talk, buddy. Whatever it was that motivated you to tell that story also created extreme awkwardness and drove away the Lord’s spirit. Again, it’s not like everyone is SO pure, but you treated what was sacred to others – the very act of going to church – with very little respect.

And then? When you’re done with the story, at the pulpit, you tell your fellow churchgoers you thought it was a pretty funny story, but it looks like they didn’t think so.

I felt sorry for my roommate. No one deserves to feel that way during church.