Archive for November, 2007|Monthly archive page

In Uncategorized on November 29, 2007 at 5:28 pm

for the rest of us

if jim halpert was the acting manager at rectangle, he’d probably approach holidays in much the same way that he approached birthdays. thus instead of throwing a half-a-dozen, relatively meaningless, rather expensive and wholly unproductive celebrations throughout the year he’d probably establish one previously inconsequential day as festivus and would throw a vending machine catered and tastefully, florescent lit party for one and all.

i don’t know if i would do what jim would do, but i think such an action would make sense.

further, if jim was acting manager at rectangle, he either wouldn’t participate in stupid gift exchanges with his co-workers or would abolish secret santas, white elephant or other such ignorant schemes altogether. although he is generally a congenial guy, jim wouldn’t be roped into buying a gift for his superiors when his minimal yearly commission would make it financially unreasonable to purchase a little something for pam.

i can neither confirm nor deny whether i would support such plans, but i can clearly comprehend jim’s logic.

finally, if jim was acting manager at rectangle, he’d undoubtedly be his funny, engaging self, ever eager to pull a prank on andy or catch up with toby over a coffee. however, he would not be desperate enough to make work the social center of his little life and would probably skip out of the festivus party in midstream in order to share a romantic drink with pam on the roof or play a little uninterrupted game of ping pong with darrell.

in regards to the latter, i cannot say i would follow in his steps exactly, but my path would be roughly parallel.

of course, jim isn’t the acting manager at rectangle, so the reasonable folk who work there will in no way be rescued from the ignorant, annoying and inefficient schemes of the party planning committee. gee whiz…let the fun begin!


In Uncategorized on November 28, 2007 at 3:38 am

overheard: the nyt shares tales of jewish emergence

i am really exhausted and would rather sleep than summarize this article completely, but tonight i stumbled across the new york times* front page and was surprised to find a fascinating story about emergent forms of jewish worship.

apparently a number of young jews throughout the country are starting lay led, gender inclusive “independent prayer groups, or minyanim” where people of the faith are gathering to read the Torah, sing songs of the faith and search for a “sense of sacred community.” how cool is that? i hope that the good folks at jewcy are involved.

if you know more about this emerging form of jewish worship, feel free to drop a comment below. i’d love to learn more about this developing movement.

* you are dead to me. since you’re so dead set on snorting cocaine off of britney’s ass, i’m switching my allegiance to the nyt. salut.

In Uncategorized on November 27, 2007 at 2:11 am

unsolicited opinions…

mc lovin

1. my son: as if you didn’t already know that.
2. the pix’s pecan pie: 2,000 calories of crunchy, molasses sweet, septic shock inducing glory.
3. seth rogen: partnering up with kevin smith to shoot zack and miri shoot a phono.
4. dr. james as john proctor: dude damn near knocked my knickers off. seriously.
5. free money: thank you family foundations and keep it coming. baby needs a new pair of shoes!


1. the boston celtics and the nba: love the free tickets, hate the sloppy play and the simultaneously demeaning and demanding scoreboard. i’ll clap my hands when i am gosh darn good and ready!
2. jon krakauer’s under the banner of heaven: hey, i hate the polygamists too, but some of the simplistic faith vs. reason theologising really bugs.
3. nick hornby’s slam: sure, i devoured it in two days, but about a boy and high fidelity it is not.
4. band of brothers: intriguing story and quality cast, but the narrative arcs are not definitively sketched and the dirge like tone gets a little old. take a lesson from your allies easy by learning to always look on the bright side of life. i think a revision is in order. that episode about pvt. blithe just about killed me. wow.
5. christmas: hate the music, hate consumerism, hate obligatory gifts, hate claymation but afraid to offend fred claus.


1. fnl: i’m glad the writers went on strike since scabs could surely do better. memo to mr. berg: win state is a legitimate, season long metanarrative. wfw (or who f’d who) is not.
2. micromana…uh, hate feeling the freedom to holler the things i hate. once bitten, twice shy i suppose.
3. dizzy dean: the dog who submitted to the sodium pentothol i always threatened. that is one irony i could live without.
4. extreme home makeover: dying of a terrible disease? taking care of your eighteen nieces and nephews? tractor tore your testicles clean off? here’s what you need? the american dream! once you increase that carbon footprint, turn on that plasma screen and soak in your hot tub for twenty, you’ll feel all better!
5. my taste in movies: even with all scruples considered, i will not be able to dis zack and miri on opening weekend. i know, i know. indefensable.

consider yourself solicited.

In Uncategorized on November 25, 2007 at 1:34 pm

widdily wah!

little p rocks the electric duckie.

In Uncategorized on November 24, 2007 at 5:56 pm


growing up, i had the impression that christian ministers were offered their posts on account of their moral accomplishments, theological acumen and commitment to their local communities. for that reason, i often converted descriptive passages such as i timothy 3 into a virtual checklists for prospective christian leaders.

“so you want to dance lead?” st. paul somberly asked. “if so, please answer the following questions in five hundred words or less: do you have the same quality of character as your pa pa? are you sexing up anyone other than your wife? are your children little shits?”

however, now that i’ve stumbled after Christ for a number of years, i am starting to realize that my ministry is not something that i have acquired on account of my moral qualifications. rather, the origins of my ministry are rooted in the sovereign, undeserved, seemingly awkward and nearly impossible to interpret calling of God.

i’m not saying that i’m indifferent to importance of developing the character traits that paul outlines in i timothy 3. but, thus far anyway, the purpose and power of ministry seem to reside less in my character development than in the simultaneously wonderful and horrifying knowledge that God has intertwined a life that is, admittedly, not worthy to be incorporated into the scum of the earth with the remarkably beautiful, good and true life of the suffering Servant.

as i’ve mentioned before, much like the whisky priest in greene’s power and the glory and buechner’s godric, i (somewhat) realize that i am a part of the compost of the world out of which God intends to bring new life. so please excuse me if i smell like shit and fail to measure up to paul’s metrics. this life is not an expression of personal ambition or intention but the direct result of an unexpected and undeserved calling.

In Uncategorized on November 23, 2007 at 1:05 pm

overheard: megachurches add local economy to their mission

one of the persistent criticisms of megachurches has been that the tax-exempt facilities they own as well as the strain such facilities put on local utilities leads to a drain on the church’s local economies. in fact, a few weeks ago reported* that a few counties in florida are starting to limit the number of churches that can be incorporated within their jurisdictions due to the demand such facilities put on local resources.

for these reasons, i was surprised to click open the new york times this morning and find a well balanced consideration of the positive and negative influences american megachurches are having on their local economies. one of the churches that is featured has developed a sports dome that is the largest inflatable sports facility not only in anchorage, where the church is located, but in north america. other churches, such as t.d. jakes‘ potter’s house in dallas are in the midst of building mixed-use residential communities that are inspired by the new urbanism movement in architecture.

as the article explains in much greater detail, the sports facilities, shopping centers, credit unions, western inspired theme parks and neighborhoods that these churches are birthing raise thorny questions about the relationship between tax-exempt organizations and for-profit corporations in any given community. however, if these new initiatives create jobs, serve the needs of the people, revitalize underutilized facilities and expand the tax base in local communities, i can see their value. of course, far too many of these initiatives are probably adding to urban sprawl, carefully skirting property taxes and demanding a disproportionate allocation of their church’s budget, but in an economy that is trending downward i am more open to such developments than i have been previously.

so that’s my opinion, not that it matters. if you are not interested in reading the article, check out the nifty slide show that accompanies the article.

* i tried to locate the CT article that discussed these matters but was unable to do so.

In Uncategorized on November 20, 2007 at 5:31 pm


just this morning, before i left the office to advocate for a client, my boss told me that he had received an urgent request to meet with his boss the afternoon before, but had not been able to contact the boss before the end of the business day. although i realized that the urgent meeting request probably concerned a small administrative matter or a moving discussion of budget minutiae, i worried throughout the morning that the real topic of concern was my impending termination. for that reason, i spent most of the morning worrying whether something i said, a post i had written or a person i had offended would lead to the unexpected end of a job i dearly love. in short course, such worries led to prayers, compulsive crossing and fears that i would not react to the firing in a healthy manner.

i am incredibly relieved that i no longer spend my days commodifying Christ at lightway christian stores, but if i told you that my firing did not leave a scar i’d be lying. i can’t tell you how many times over the past two years i’ve broke out into cold sweats worrying if a word muttered in frustration, a courtesy left undone or a quick check of the scores on would be my undoing.

much to my relief, i have since learned that my boss’ conversation was about minutiae and i am no longer afraid of spending the next six weeks freaking out about employment. however, the termination terrors that i periodically endure annoy me greatly and are yet another reason that i would be terrified to pursue the path of professional christianity.*

* where, i suspect, 25% of what i say, 70% of the movies i watch and 60% of my political opinions could get me fired in very short order.

In Uncategorized on November 19, 2007 at 10:57 pm


something is horribly wrong with the gentry fridge! carefully assess the evidence in order to determine a) what is horribly wrong with the fridge and b) who defaced our beloved fridge in this way.

i’m not offering you any clues on the first question. but as to the second, i have two culprits in mind: one who has daily access to such offensive material and another whose sense of humor often delights in such vulgar displays.

for the love of god* please help us solve this crime!

* whom, i’ve heard, “ain’t poor no more.”

In Uncategorized on November 18, 2007 at 11:05 pm


nothing substantial to add. just thought i’d add a few postcards for faraway friends.

In Uncategorized on November 17, 2007 at 8:53 pm

happy haiku

elephant eared latina
behold the good news

red smock, blue apron
plastic bags not worth saving
a life examined

handouts from hindus
serve as supplements for wic
ganesh gives good gifts

cold goya soda
compliments chicken and rice
laughter for dessert

requires can submission
the least shall be first

sweeping the nation
yo quiero tres crustacean
spicy on the lip

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