Archive for September, 2005|Monthly archive page

In Uncategorized on September 28, 2005 at 7:22 pm

stuff that has been making me laugh

over the past two weeks massachusetts has celebrated the birth of two evacuee babies. the name of the first baby was, predictably, katrina. her parents said that they thought the name was “kind of cool, you know, and kind of weird. like something you would see on david letterman.” the second baby has been christened cape cod in honor of the region that has so generously welcomed and served the evacuees over the past three weeks. i have no quarrel with people naming their children after natural disasters, hurricanes, major civil war battles or even tropical fruit (yesterday npr featured an interview with a woman named chiquita). however, i do not consider such names exempt from ridicule.


In Uncategorized on September 27, 2005 at 7:51 pm

a humble request

i am planning to visit friends and make merry in lincoln illinois next monday and tuesday (10.3 – 10.4). if you (a) live in lincoln (b) read this blog and (c) would be willing to let me crash on your floor on monday night please let me know. i would prefer to stay on campus, where i can interact with the students and perhaps subvert a few minds, but am well aware that beggars can’t be choosers.

if you are willing to briefly house this jaded optimist please drop a comment or send an email to your assistance in this matter is greatly appreciated.

In Uncategorized on September 25, 2005 at 3:19 pm

sunday morning

sitting in my chair, wise candle lit.
crumbs on my shirt, taste of coffee in my mouth.
i am overwhelmed with love.

convinced of my creator’s beneficence
overwhelmed by his presence
my eyes well up
my heart breaks
for those who walk in, out and around my life
shining like the sun.

thank God for these fleeting moments
in which we enter the holy and hidden heart of it all.

In Uncategorized on September 24, 2005 at 5:34 pm

memorandum from captain random:

nepotism provides the paper on which many an evangelical publishing contract is writ. not only james, but shirley, ryan and danae now ply the focus on the family shit. for another case, you needn’t look far, billy has anointed franklin, ruth and anne as his literary arms. since these fuckers are setting up franchises i’ve decided to get in the game, from now on jeff dobson graham warren is my name. so let’s sign that contract mr. tyndale, miss multnomah, let’s publish more of the same, don’t question my capabilities, just look at my motherfucking name.

this afternoon i’m listening to sufjan stevens and he’s surprising me with his rythmic, contextualized truth. on illinoise sufjan provides a compelling apologetic for listening to life within your particular context (isn’t particularity an essential component of art? what is a painting without a frame or a photo without a subject?). his music won’t simply please your ear, it will suggest straight paths for your soul. four stars, sufjan, four stars.

i think everyone has a totem they love to touch or something they smell that reminds them of home. my totems are two misshapen black rocks, one stays on the nightstand, the other on an ontario shore. the smell is musty yet warm, it proceeds from the glove my papa once wore.

sufjan, what’s up with this half-assed poetry you provoke? i think it’s safer to stick to prose.

yet another reason i love sinners and saints: this afternoon i was talking to brooke about an old “okie” friend that i would like to beat some sense into. this friend continues to make rather poor decisions and does not seem to be willing or able to face the consequences of his actions. although i know that my pastoral counseling professors would question my treatment plan, i am convinced of its possible efficacy. fortunately, brooke told me that my convictions were for shit and suggested a wiser, more loving approach. i cannot imagine leading a community by myself. the shared leadership structure of s & s doesn’t ensure that we’ll never misread a particular situation, rend a relationship or do any number of additional ignorant things, but it does make such fuck ups far less common. that Jesus was up to something when he sent the disciples out two by two. moreover, st. paul might have been wrong-headed about women, but he got the plural leadership thing right.

In Uncategorized on September 21, 2005 at 8:06 pm


i am beginning to think that one of the reasons the authors of scripture espoused and exalted an eschatological perspective is because it is quite difficult to keep people looking and moving forward.

i am a perfect example.

although i have yet to crack thirty, i already find myself constantly doubling back on the past. i cannot seem to finish a day without remembering how superior i felt as kerrie sat beside me on the elementary school swings, looking into the cracked mirror that produced ms. simmons’ “portraits of monkeys” or smelling the grease at the rex’s chicken on 21st and mingo. i also find myself wondering what happened to the more obscure characters in my play. i wonder whether gabe, my handicapped friend from fifth grade is still living with his parents or whether he is in a group home and i wonder whether rhett’s intellectual acumen eventually enabled him to escape the poverty and familial dysfunction that always found a way to entangle him. for some reason i find it difficult to remember the characters in the last novel that i read, but i never find it difficult to drudge up memories of hell night at the citadel or how it felt like to hit adam buker in the face.

i’m not unthankful for these memories, but i am afraid of getting trapped.

i need to weave these strands of story together so that they will support me as i scramble up the mountains and dredge through the valleys that lie before me. these stories contain the whispered wisdom and crucial questions that will help me find my way. even more importantly, these stories bind me to those without whom i would be bereft and utterly alone.
but i cannot let these stories, sentimental and important though they might be, keep me from moving forward. these strands of support cannot become ties that bind me to who i was, lest i fail to continue becoming.

Jesus once said that “no one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” i think this is kind-of what he was getting at.

In Uncategorized on September 18, 2005 at 1:58 am

reason #9836 that we’re taking her to the kill shelter. fucking douche.

In Uncategorized on September 16, 2005 at 1:22 pm

happy haiku friday

surrender to rain

let it soak right through your skin

find refuge with them

In Uncategorized on September 13, 2005 at 1:04 am

bad teeth work for hugh grant. i wish they would work for me

i am the reason that dentists commit suicide. i flinch when they stick me with a needle, i wince at the sound of a drill and i jump out of my skin when their metal hook catches one of my (many) fillings and delivers that unique, metal to metal shock.

i am the reason that dentists commit suicide. for this reason my former dentists have indulged me with the beautiful, bubby hygienists who aren’t at the top of their trade, but can keep a male mind occupied. moreover, while they encourage more stalwart types like dr. james to do it sans novocain, they drug me to the nth degree and occasionally indulge me with a snort of nitrous.

i am the reason that dentists commit suicide. unfortunately, for that reason, dr. a has taken the gloves off. instead of indulging me and perhaps inadvertently nurturing my fears, she has decided to show me tough love. so she removed the bubbly hygienist with the brilliant personality, barred me from the bland hygienist who isn’t much to look at but is easy on the ole gums and has forever banned me from the quirky-cute african-american girl in the front room. instead, she has put me in the hands of the pissed-off armenian. before today i had dealt with the pissed off armenian once before, so i knew about her lectures on holy dental hygiene, her ability to use the suction stick like a cattle prod and her tendency to transfer her hatred for the turks onto my sensitive teeth. after the last time she made me bleed and nearly brought me to tears i asked the receptionist to steer me away from her little suite of pain in the future. she said that wouldn’t be a problem.

the bitch lied.

today, when i stepped into the office around 7:45 a.m. i was somewhat confident and almost non-chalant about my visit. i figured that i would draw the bubble, she’d clean the chicklets in forty-five to an hour and i’d be on my merry way. so you can imagine how my stomach dropped with the receptionist parted her nicotine stained teeth, gave me a cruel little smile and said “jeff gentry? armenian, around the corner.” on my way to the corner suite, i steadied myself by remembering my desire not to prejudge, after all – the day of my last visit might have coincided with the anniversary of a divorce or death, and wrangled up a bit of courage by reminding myself that i would only be subjected to her fury for one hour.

i should have stuck to my judgmental guns.

the armenian began by numbing the right side of my mouth. after about six minutes of swabbing a bitter substance in my mouth she matter-of-factly told me that she was numbing the incorrect side. after all, i had already had scaling (a deep form of cleaning that is required for those of us who struggle with minor gum disease. don’t ask for details) on the right side of my mouth. “didn’t you rememeber” she asked accusingly. “you’re the one with the chart, bitch,” i thought to myself, but did not say, since she is the one with the sharp, probing instruments at her disposal. instead i feebly shrugged my shoulders and admitted that the fact had “slipped my mind.” she then proceed to numb the left side of my mouth with strokes that betrayed her fury. as she set up her instruments and began to pull back my gums so that she could scrape the recently concealed roots of my teeth i could not think that this woman would make a hell of a dominatrix. unfortunately this seedy little thought was completely without joy, for in this particular instance i was stuck in the role of the gimp and the damn zipper was open.

the rest of the visit was filled with fun experiences such as the co-mingling of mucus and blood in my mouth and the fun, fresh feel of metal probing metal in my mouth. i don’t know why i shared this story other than to warn you that if your dentist is not particularly prone to suicide you should not ignore your dental hygiene or piss off the doc in any other way. although chances are small that your dentist has an amoral armenian working for her, she has other ways of getting to you. trust me, you don’t want your friendly dental healthcare professional to go medieval on your ass.

do you have any dental horror stories to share? if you do, please drop a comment below. the best story of the bunch will win you a limited-edition three pack of ryan dobson 2 live 4 stickers. these stickers have been generously donated by the good folks at lightway christian stores. no purchase necessary. void where prohibited. no, this was not edited.

In Uncategorized on September 9, 2005 at 12:04 pm

happy haiku friday!

mountain of kleenex

pulsating river of phlegm

fall, my long lost friend

In Uncategorized on September 8, 2005 at 12:46 pm

memorandum from captain random:

today i am compensating myself for the eight hours i am working this weekend by taking the day off. i am planning on reading moby dick, contemplating the divine conspiracy and cleaning the kitchen. throughout the day i might drop a line here and there or i might not. we’ll see.

when you get a moment, check out this coupland-esque report from the apocalypse coupland-esque report from the apocalypse. i’ve always had a barely subliminated fear of living through the postmodern apocalypse that was foretold in girlfriend in a coma. perhaps that is why the ongoing struggles of the remnant in new orleans have hit so close to home. this is one of the finest newspaper pieces i have read in years.

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