31 July 2k2

so i read an article about journaling . . .
(it basically said that journaling is a good idea . . .
and really smart and cool people do it) . . .
-- my arm is twitching as i write this by the way, not sure what that means -- . . .
anyway . . .
one of the tips for keeping a journal . . .
was to keep it in a safe place . . .
a place that no one would find it . . .
otherwise, it said, you couldn't be as honest and open as you should be for an effective journal . . .
point taken . . . to a point . . .
anyway . . .
that brought my back . . .
albeit way back (like a month) . . .
oh, also, i used to read this guy's journal once in a while . . .
and he found out and it was apparently too much for him to handle . . .
he felt too restricted . . .
afraid to speak his mind . . .
afraid of what i thought . . .
about what he thought . . .
and my first thought . . .
---// very unartistic //---
anyway . . .
about a month ago . . .
i started talking about the characteristics of an artist . . .
and, since it's late and since it has waited this long . . .
i suppose it can wait 'til the morrow . . .
hey, i'm tired, i have a cold, my arm is twitching . . .
and artists are procrastinators . . .


30 July 2k2

hmmm . . .
so, it's that time of year again . . .
time for the annual evaluation at work . . .
yeah!, but the twist is that i have to evaluate myself . . .
and then discuss it with my boss . . .
who will in turn discuss it with his boss . . .
and up the ladder . . .
great, how to evaluate myself . . .
well, sure, i'm great, give me a raise, done deal . . .
ahh, except i'm harder on myself than anyone else is . . .
oh well, i suppose i'll do just fine . . .


so i finally worked out how i want the "printer-friendly" version of the archives to look . . .
but it may still be a while . . .
it will be a bit of programming so, it's still on the back burner . . .
behind a bit of reading . . .
and other stuff . . .
it will be fun but, you know, i gotta stop being sick and worn out . . .


29 July 2k2

so, i'm struggling to get back into the swing of things . . .
i know it's never easy to get back to work after a vacation . . .
but there is supposed to be an innate feeling of refreshment . . .
that results from time away, isn't there?
well, for whatever reason, i have a knack for catching a head cold during or at the tail-end of my vacations . . .
so, i am typing between nose blows and other niceties . . .
i have so much to cover . . .
and it's already time to go . . .
welcome back to the daily hustle . . .


:: :: PartII :: ::
so went on vacation and took advantage of one of those Weekend Getaways . . .
that we get solicited with all the time . . .
you know, come listen to our presentation and we'll give you a deal on your hotel stay . . .
apparently, we are prime targets for the timeshare groups . . .
but they always seem to get upset when they find out we're not really interested . . .
well, this latest encounter brought about some of the finer moments in sales pitches . . .
here's a quick overview . . .
i was told i looked like a lawyer . . .
i was called pathetic because i was out to get something for nothing . . .
i apparently was playing dumb . . .
i had my manhood questioned . . .
i was called whipped . . .
i was told that i "deserve" the best . . .
anyway, you get the idea . . .
it was a brutal three and a half hours . . .
but it's the last point that got me thinking . . .
and in actuality, i had been going over this in my head for a while now . . .
this whole idea that we deserve more than we have . . .
that we need more than we have . . .
it is important to keep in mind that this is the first sin . . .
take it back if you will to the first man and woman . . .
Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden . . .
if ever there was a case of material wealth, this is it . . .
i mean, what other couple had as much as them . . .
there was no currency yet, so they weren't ever short on cash . . .
they were placed above all other creatures on the earth . . .
they had all the food they needed . . .
every need was met . . .
and they walked with God . . .
they had everything . . .
everything but the fruit of one tree . . .
enter temptation . . .
with a very short conversation . . .
satan, in the guise of a snake, was able to introduce discontent to mankind . . .
nowadays it is advertisers, salespeople (hey, i was one too), and a slew of others . . .
wear the skin of the serpent . . .
regardless of their individual products . . .
these new temptors are selling discontent and dissatisfaction . . .
using "noble" titles, they effort to make you desire something "more" . . .
don't you deserve it? . . .
don't you want something better for your children? . . .
believe me, i heard them all this weekend . . .
and all my life i've been fed these and many other lines . . .
truth is, we don't deserve the breath we breathe . . .
we don't deserve anything . . .
it has been given to us out of love . . .
the fact of the matter is that we are called to be content . . .
in any circumstances . . .
if we believe that what we have is somehow "owed" to us . . .
we will never be content . . .
and we will be led astray . . .
true enough, we will never have everything, but when we have contentment . . .
we have all we need . . .


24 July 2k2

so i made it through . . .
and i'm back . . .
back home happily where i belong . . .
the anger has subsided . . .
although i was right in my judgement that the trip was not worth my company's money . . .
but, i made the most of it . . .
besides getting out on the road a bit before four am yesterday . . .
i managed to finally complete my first reading of The Screwtape Letters . . .
(only took about a year) . . .
man, what a deep piece of writing . . .
i was especially in awe of the chilling accuracy of the supplemental piece . . .
the discussion of democracy is frightening . . .
i'll get into it more later, much later . . .
i'm taking a vacation! . . .
and my first vacationing act . . .
is going to bed . . .


22 July 2k2

grrr . . .
i am just about nauseated with anger . . .
what is it that i am to learn from this . . .
what shall i take from this inconsideration . . .
i guess that being really angry makes me nauseous . . .
if nothing else . . .


FYI . . .
i was informed at 12:30 PM today . . .
that i needed to catch a 6AM train to NYC . . .
(which puts me on the road a little before 4 . . . ) . . .
and i must stay overnight . . .
and come home around 10PM Wednesday night . . .
maybe i'm over-reacting . . .
maybe it's no big deal . . .
maybe, but i'm still angry . . .


19 July 2k2

so about that golf thing yesterday . . .
often times we have the best of intentions in mind . . .
and our goal is noble and pure . . .
but without patience . . .
we can haul off and fire off our best shot . . .
right into the woods, pond, or sand trap . . .
we can wind up and give it our all and still end up going astray . . .
this generally occurs because we lack the training . . .
or the patience for it . . .
we may get caught up in how far we can crush the ball off the tee . . .
that we lose sight of the actual target . . .
we may just not be ready . . .
but when we take the time to practice. . .
to slowly improve . . .
to let God finish his work in us, He will . . .


feeling pretty strange . . .
i feel really tired . . .
and at the same time, i have a lot of energy . . .
i feel really ambitious . . .
and yet, i feel like just flopping down . . .
i want to curl up with a good book . . .
and at the same time, i just want to curl up . . .
i think, maybe i'm tired . . .


18 July 2k2

so i golfed this morning . . .
there's something refreshing about a round of golf . . .
it's funny thing about golf . . .
i golf for fun, but sometimes i get pretty into it . . .
the competitive nature shines through and i want to do better . . .
nothing wrong with that . . .
i just don't always know how to be better . . .
you would think that hitting the ball far off of the tee would be a good start . . .
i thought so too, and it would . . .
if you keep the ball in play . . .
see, i can really wail the ball and it goes far .. .
but then i end up in the woods and even though i find more than i lose . . .
it's not quite as satisfying as smashing one off the tee and watching it bounce down the fairway . . .
(i know, 'cause it happened once) . . .
anyway, today, i went in with a new mindset. . .
that i would take a little off of the distance and focus on the accuracy . . .
low and behold i shot the best round ever . . .
(51-ish, but who's counting, i shoot for fun) . . .
yeah, there's an application here, i'm sure, but it's late . . .
and tee-time was pretty early today . . .


17 July 2k2

hmmm . . .
each day i am reminded that we live in a world that doesn't know what to believe . . .
churches are teaching false doctrine . . .
the media is, well, the media . . .
no need to get into that age-old debate . . .
there is almost no place to go for truth . . .
oh, yeah, the Bible . . .
it seems as if the more i read it . . .
the more lies i see around me . . .
anyway . . .
i saw somewhere that the state government in CT was pressuring local churches . . .
to deliver a message encouraging the use of seat belts . . .
they even came up with a nifty name for the "policy" - - - Seat Belt Sunday . . .
(i think you have to pay to read the article now) . . .
anyway . . .
this is an example of why there are laws on the separation of church and state . . .
to keep the state from influencing the teachings of the church . . .
to protect the church as a whole from the corruption and monetary influence of the government . . .
not to "protect" society from the message of the church . . .
not to keep people from having to say "one nation under God" . . .
or from reading "In God We Trust" . . .


i want to tackle the latest i read from Merton, but i think i will wait . . .
the chapter is entitled "Everything That Is, Is Holy" . . .
FYI . . .


16 July 2k2

part two
so, i just watched Hart's War . . .
pretty powerful movie. . .
i have determined a few things over the course of my life . . .
probably because i'm a guy .. .
there is within me a sort of draw to action . . .
there is, to say, a part of me that yearns to be in a war . . .
to be on the frontlines . . .
to be a secret agent . . .
to be a hero of some sort . . .
risking life and limb for the noble cause of preserving it . . .
saving someone else's life . . .
i suppose part of it is pent-up aggression . . .
that has had 26 years of no feasible outlet . . .
part of it, as i said, is being a guy . . .
part of it is probably all these movies i watch . . .
(i'd like to believe that part of it is a desire to be Christ-like) . . .
oh well . . .
so, what have i learned from this desire . . .
i think that it is quite possible that if i were in a situation . . .
like being on a battlefield . . .
i would be capable of doing whatever i needed to . . .
but what i've realized is that the cost of being there . . .
is probably more than i want to pay . . .
the suffering of watching companions . . .
dwindle . . .
the constant attacks on morality . . .
so many decisions . . .
anyway . . .
i was part of a discussion about Hitler and WWII the other day . . .
and it was very interesting . . .
it seems that Hitler was far more concerned with removing the Jews from the face of the earth . . .
than he was with winning the war . . .
so towards the end of the war . . .
he began making rash decisions . . .
and straying from the battle plans . . .
i can't help but wonder if he didn't . . .
if he would have won the war . . .
interestingly enough, it seems the world is poised for another attempt to be rid of Jews . . .
interesting, sad . . .
it's crazy the things that cross my mind . . .


previously
i'm having a bit of trouble focusing on anything in particular right now . . .
at least my eye isn't buggin out today . . .
kj-52 drops today! . . .
i've resolved to wait until Sunday at least when i hopefully get a new computer . . .
but i really wanna get that disc . . .
i heard one of the cuts all the way through and . . .
it's awesome . . .
called Dear Slim . . .
addressed to you know . .
and if not, don't worry about it, but it's a powerful example of witnessing . . .
the reason kj and some others are into the industry . . .
not money but the ministry . . .
(loosely from 7th Avenue, kj's first disc) . . .
see . . .
this entry has nothing to do with next to anything . . .
i can see i'm wasting your time . . .
let me try later on . . .


15 July 2k2

morning.
monday, the beginning of a new work week . . .
i think i've gotten off to a decent start . . .
i read my minute Bible pages on the commute in . . .
rocked out to some cranked up Pax217 . . .
read my daily Bible reading . . .
i even read another chapter in "New Seeds of Contemplation" . . .
-- though it will take a bit more digestion before i write about it . . .
though i do have an interesting thought brewing about what i read in I Corinthians . . .

When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power.
   - 1 Cor. 2:1-5

Paul has just finished talking about how man's wisdom is foolishness . . .
in comparision to God's wisdom . . .
how man's strength is weakness . . .
in the strength of God . . .
and then he hits them with this remarkable jewel of wisdom. . .
Paul now is a man of great worldly wisdom and stature . . .
he can speak quite eloquently as seen in his courtroom "scenes" . . .
and in fact he seems quite comfortable with public speaking . . .
he remains calm and collected when he addressses the court officials and leaders of the world. . .
so you would expect such a skilled man to create powerful and pointed messages to deliver to his audiences . . .
as he heads off into the mission field . . .
you know the type of message i'm talking about . . .
we've all heard the six pointed sermons brought to you by the letter "s" or "p" or whatever . . .
you get the idea . . .
but wait . . .
instead of of confidently stepping up to the podium and giving a well-crafted speech . . .
Paul gets up on stage and "freestyles" . . .
and he's got the jitters to boot . . .
now, there's nothing wrong with poignant preaching . . .
but here's the point Paul is making . . .
and i'm touching on this a bit in one of my "works in progress" about witnessing effectively . . .
first, and this is two-fold as i see it . . .
pastors that speak wisely and elogantly often times end up elevated above the message they are giving . . .
and that's bad . . .
even Paul ran into that problem despite his efforts . . .
some of these very Corinthians that Paul is writing have the misconception that Paul (or Apollos) are the leaders they are following . . .

For when one says, "I follow Paul," and another, "I follow Apollos," are you not mere men?
   - 1 Cor. 3:4

some pastors i've come across really like this, unfortunately . . .
second . . .
it is all well and good to use buzz words, catch phrases, and obscure terminology . . .
to create a congruent, flowing speech . . .
but there will never be a more convincing or "real-sounding" message than the message of the heart . . .
studdering, stammering, and thought pauses included . . .
it keeps you honest, it shows you are a normal person, just like your audience . . .
except that you happen to have stumbled across this great mystery . . .
and have had it revealed to you . . .
and, most importantly, it is a testimony to the power of the spirit that now lives within you . . .
the spirit you are, in fact, "selling" so to speak . . .


14 July 2k2

yeah, i didn't write much this weekend . . .
i did sleep in 'til 11 on saturday . . .
fighting this impending illness or whatever it is . . .
i also got to spend much of saturday practicing humility . . .
doing nice things for someone i often am not too fond of . . .
it can be done . . .
i did also manage to figure out enough php and mySQL to get a good start on TRu-dAT.music . . .
start anyway . . .
now i need to get on the ball and write all thos reviews that are lingering on my plate . . .
okay . . .
well, i'm gonna beat it . . .
try to beat this cold before it grows roots . . .


12 July 2k2

ugh . . .
rough morning today . . .
struggling to keep my eyes open. . .
keep caffiene in me . . .
keep my food down . . .
with little success . . .
and wouldn't it be today that i have a seven hour client meeting . . .
ugh . . .


this baseball thing is killing me . . .
you wanna talk about corporate greed in America . . .
how about this . . .
the average annual salary in baseball is something between 2.1 and 2.2 million . . .
before incentives and bonuses . . .
about half of the players in the MLB make over 1 million per year base salary . . .
and that's apparently not enough . . .
the players are threatening a strike . . .
Two of the thirty teams are about to go broke . . .
do these greedy players realize that they are about to put themselves out of work? . . .


so i am trying to start this reflective study of Psalms today . . .
with Psalms 1 . . .
the beginning, a decent place to start . . .
i hope to get a minute to write a bit about it . . .
i got off to a late start this morning . . .
as i was emptying my innards . . .
pleasant thought huh? . . .
well, i need to get into a meeting . . .
EYES OPEN!!!
@@
  O


11 July 2k2

i've slacked a little . . .
i didn't write again last night . . .
i actually watched a movie . . .
[ A Walk To Remember ] . . .
if you're interested . . .
it was a pretty decent movie but totally not what i expected . . .
anyway . . .
i didn't even read much last night . . .
um, i think i read a couple Dilbert Strips and that's about it . . .
and i haven't dug into Merton for two days . . .
but i did resize the Universal Royalty Online website . . .
and now people using 800x600 resolution should stop complaining . . .
but then again people will always complain . . .


at this exact moment i'm watching yet another moron trying to elude police officers on a CA highway . . .
the roads out there in CA are so very straight . . .
must be boring driving around out there . . .
anyway . . .
what is with all these wildfires . . .
and floods . . .
who knows . . .
i see that in texas a $45 million estate was completely destroyed by a fire this morning . . .
45 million dollars, are you kidding me? . . .
i pass a development every day on my way to and from work where all the homes start at around $1 mil. . .
for kicks i tried to calculate the mortgage payment . . .
not pretty . . .
i can't imagine even making that much money, much less spending it every month just for my house . . .
much less 45 times that . . .
what is so enthralling about a car driving down a 5 lane highway with 10 patrol cars following it . . .
i keep looking up at it . . .
anyway . . .
i think i'm gonna try something new . . .
i think i'm gonna read a psalm every day and reflect on it . . .
i think that sounds like a good idea . . .
yeah, i'll start . . . tomorrow . . .
anyway . . .


i don't have any one thing really nagging at my mind today so i'm all over the place topically . . .
and it's been a fairly productive day, work-wise . . .
and i . . .
*lost my train of thought . . .
this just in: corporate America is filthy with greed . . .
wait, this just in . . .
where have you been?
gotta pay for that 45 mil. dollar estate that i gotta have . . .
scientists discover a rock that is shaped like a 7 million deteriorated, fossilized skull of some sort . . .
which is important because it has confused them . . .
interesting thought . . .
should churches have marketing strategies . . .
and if so . . .
should they be rethought? . . .
i'm actually way ahead of the public in addressing that question . . .
but they are way ahead of me in actually writing about it . . .
(it's on my plate) . . .
look at that stupid car go . . .
you know from all that the media has shared with me in my lifetime . . .
i find it somewhat difficult not rooting for this guy to get away . . .
i don't even know why they are chasing him . . .
i wonder if they do . . .
i rediscovered Matchbox 20's Mad Season today . . .
great album artistically and you won't be mine is one of the prettiest songs ever . . .
o well . . .
i better go . . .
it's time to go home and my eye is twitching . . .


10 July 2k2

okay, it came back to me . . .
the comfort in the last "gem" from yesterday . . .
it actually has come and gone and come again a few times by now . . .
so before it leaves again . . .


God never wills "unnatural, frantic, anxious work, work done under the pressure of greed or fear or any other inordinate passion"

This is a comforting thought . . .
It is a reminder that God's timetable is infinite . . .
and His will includes understanding and patience . . .
He understands that frantic work will not likely be the best work . . .
and that performing work under such pressure will likely stress the worker out . . .
and He's patient to the fullest extreme of the word . . .
He knows the fullness of the universe . . .
all the goings on . . .
all that is, was, and is to be . . .
it is good to do work that is well thought-out and planned . . .
God's work is just that . . .
and more . . .
it's actually the perfect and absolute course of events . . .
with only one deadline and no pressure for you to meet it . . .


i anticipate a later writing today . . .
but who can be sure . . .


9 July 2k2

back to yesterday's "gems" from New Seeds of Contemplation by Thomas Merton . . .


everything that happens in life, plants seeds of contemplation in the minds of those involved . . .

The first thing that stands out in my mind about this is the implication that nothing that happens is insignificant. Merton goes on to explain how most of these "seeds" never come to fruition, because they are cast onto soil that isn't ready or prepared to grow them. Alluding to the parable of the sower, he states that "such seeds as these cannot spring up anywhere except the good soil of freedom, spontaneity, and love." Keeping in mind that contemplation is a growing closer to God, it is important that we ready ourselves for these opportunities to grow these seeds.

though my work often seems to be a distraction, it is not an obstacle to God's work . . .

This is important to me. I realize that God has work planned for me. And that work, which i tend to think is down the road in my life, often times seems to conflict with the work that i do. Whether it wears me out so i don't feel like writing or it "consumes" my mind with logic and uncreative thoughts or a variety of other work-related activities that seem to be hindering me from writing, i need to know that it is all part of a process. God will not be stopped by my job.

in fact, my work, when done in accordance with and as a part of God's will for me, will "purify and pacify my mind and dispose me for contemplation" . . .

Again, to further grasp this concept, not only is work not a hinderance (or a viable one at least), but it is a component to the end result God is creating in me. Part of God's will for me is that i perform the tasks before me. With or without a visible relation to what i think the end result will be. God has given me this work to complete in light of the larger picture that i can't see. He thinks big; i think i can only accomplish one goal at a time. He knows how the pieces fit together; i'm putting the puzzle pieces together face-down.

God never wills "unnatural, frantic, anxious work, work done under the pressure of greed or fear or any other inordinate passion" . . .

this is comforting and concerning at the same time. See, i work for an organization with a goal of spreading God's word online and otherwise. The problem is that i have a hard time calling it an organization as they are far from organized most of the time. As a result, i get little to no notice on projects. I live on the edge of deadlines that are unreasonable and much of my work here is done "under the gun" (frantic, anxious, etc. . .). Now that i think about it, i can't figure how it is comforting at all . . . but relevant nonetheless.


anyway . . .
i'm overdue for a trip home . . .


8 July 2k2

back to the daily routine . . .
i managed to get all that gunk off of the chair as desired . . .
though i had to buy a stain remover remover chemical mix to do it . . .
it seems like i'm the only one getting back into the swing of things so far today . . .
no one's online, and no one's working . . .
o well . . .
i've modified my plate a bit, as to be expected from time to time . . .
i've noticed that i'm really knocking out the web projects from the plate . . .
and my reading has been pretty steady . . .
but not so much activity in the other categories . . .
hmmmm, well i 'll get to that in a bit . . .
mainly i switched out the Lord of the Rings Trilogy from my book list with the Hobbit . . .
as it seems to be the proper order of reading . . .
and i borrowed a copy of the Hobbit just the other day from a good friend . . .
which brings me to my next ponderable . . .


friendship . . .
i mentioned the other day that i felt a bit rejected . . .
almost betrayed by friends . . .
due to a number of events, i reached this point . . .
and i visit the concept of friendship . . .
we obviously have conflicting desires within us on this one . . .
we desire to have companionship, to experience friendship . . .
but at the same time . . .
we like to keep secrets . . .
we like to lead private lives . . .
protect our rights to privacy . . .
and i think this is even more difficult for guys . . .
maybe that's just because that's my experience but hey experience counts for a lot in life . . .
anyway as a youngster, it's pretty easy to make friends . . .
you just don't steal other kids' toys . . .
and you get along just fine . . .
as you get a little older generally the guys you get into fights with become your friends . . .
but then you get to a point where fighting isn't worth making friends . . .
or much at all . . .
so you look for other ways to generate acquaintances . . .
it is at this point where you begin to look for commonailties in those around you . . .
and you discover a slight problem . . .
you need to start figuring out who you are before you can find these similarities . . .
this generally happens sometime during jr. high school or so . . .
which is always the easiest time to reconcile your identity . . .
right. um yeah right . . .
so here you are in the middle of perhaps the most insecure place of your life . . .
looking for someone that resembles you . . .
someone who accepts you for who you are . . .
whoever that is . . .
and this is such a critical time period in your life that shapes your identity . . .
and molds your character to be . . .
this is a time of cliques . . .
the atheletes, the musicians, the good-looking, the honor society, the daters, the skaters, etc. . .
this is a time when you build yourself up on the backs of the "lessers" . . .
it is commonly accepted that the only way to better yourself . . .
is by belittling another . . .
so, in jr. high and even on into high school there is no middle class . . .
there are the haves and have-nots . . .
the clique-ed and the unclique-ed . . .
the accepted and the "others" . . .
this can be a very damaging time period . . .
this is why we have movies like "revenge of the nerds" . . .
(i've never seen it but there are a ridiculous number of sequels to it, so it is familiar . . .
and the title speaks to the point i'm making) . . .
and videogames that are based on the little guy overcoming the giant enemies . . .
being the hero and saving the day . . .
(these games have become increaingly and steadily more violent over the years . . . )
and violence in the hallways . . .
in most cases, anger and rage are born in the years of jr. high . . .
anyway, what was i talking about? . . .
ah, yes, friendship . . .
so you can see where the difficulties lie in friendship for these years of life . . .
for me, i endured the harrassment and ridicule of jr. high and became a well-rounded loner . . .
in high school, i learned how to leverage alliances and ended up transcending the cliques . . .
before settling into a comfortable circle of friends . . .
though i did make some really good friends in high school, it was largely a time of false fronts . . .
and i have watched the relationships fizzle away with time . . .
So, then, college . . .
College throws us all into the same pool . . .
none of us know anyone else and we are all out of our element . . .
commonalities are not as important at this point . . .
as it's more important that we get used to being stuck together for the next few years . . .
and good strong bonds are created in college . . .
hopefully at this point in our lives we already have a good grasp of who we are . . .
and we take this time to bounce ideas off of each other to hone our identities . . .
i realize this is not the case for every one . . .
and that perhaps often college is a four-year extension of high school . . .
that is unfortunate . . .
but for me i made friends in college . . .
and this was a time to struggle with the success i managed in high school using facades . . .
and a desire for a truer level of friendship . . .
this is where i met my wife and learned the joy in a friendship of brutal honesty . . .
college is a highpoint in terms of friendship . . .
after college it becomes increasingly difficult to establish friendships . . .
besides drifting away from your college friends and maybe the few remaining high school friends . . .
you are trying to establish a new identity in your life . . .
it's a new stage of life . . .
whether it's marriage or career or both or something else . . .
you are a new you and suddenly there's not the abundance of free time to just hang out . . .
like in college . . .
days become weeks become months . . .
you know the way things go . . .
and you lose touch . . .
and you meet new people . . .
but by now you have a thick skin of skepticism from three or four rounds of severed ties . . .
and you really don't want to waste your now-precious time making friends that will eventually fade away . . .
besides, there will be time for that later in life, right . . .
so this is where i am right now . . .
i've had friendships vanquish, trusts betrayed and honesty made light of . . .
and i know the value of a good friend . . .
and i have my essentials (wife, family, etc) . . .
and the ultimate friend in God . . .
and there are guys i get together with that i see potential in . . .
but, you just can't tell another guy, 'hey, i wanna be better friends with you' . . .
that's not a guy thing . . .
it's supposed to just happen . . .


well, that went much longer than i anticipated . . .
and perhaps i overstepped my bounds as i'm not a psychologist or psychiatrist or sociologist . . .
just a liver of life and an observer of the happenings . . .
anyway . . .
i have so much to write about today . . .
and so i press on . . .


been reading through New Seeds of Contemplation by Thomas Merton . . .
this is a book that could take me months to read . . .
and years to fully comprehend . . .
fortunately for sake of reading, it is broken down into 39 "chunks" . . .
so i can sit down and read a chunk and digest that for the rest of the day . . .
i tried to read some of this on saturday . . .
but i was much too tired . . .
so, some gems i grabbed this morning from the third "chunk" . . .

  • everything that happens in life, plants seeds in the minds of those involved . . .
  • though my work often seems to be a distraction, it is not an obstacle to God's work . . .
  • in fact, my work, when done in accordance with and as a part of God's will for me, will "purify and pacify my mind and dispose me for contemplation" . . .
  • God never wills "unnatural, frantic, anxious work, work done under the pressure of greed or fear or any other inordinate passion"

    i tell ya, this is just beautiful writing . . .
    i wanna comment more on those points but i typed a lot today already . . .
    so, i will revisit it later today or tomorrow . . .
    patience, is a good thing . . .


    5 July 2k2

    not a big fan of the heat . . .
    it was something in the nineties again today . . .
    all day . . .
    it's just not much fun to do anything when it includes a layer of sweat . . .
    anyway . . .
    feeling a little rejected today . . .
    i got stood up for golf this morning . . .
    fortunately i knew before i went out at 7 this morning to hit the links . . .
    and i'm sure my bed was more comfy than my golf shoes would've been . . .
    but still . . .
    also, i missed out on a recent reunion of my college buddies . . .
    because i wasn't even invited . . .
    and then there is that whole 'other' website thing . . .
    anyway . . .


    so i'm stripping a rocking chair . . .
    because it will look much better white . . .
    and it has this thick, waxy build-up of stain that has set in for years . . .
    so we got this foaming spray that is supposed to speed along the process . . .
    the idea is that you spray this on, let it sit for an hour or so . . .
    go back and scrape the stain off with what is essentially a big brillo pad . . .
    simple as that right? . . .
    right . . .
    so i spray it on wait a while . . .
    and begin the scraping process . . .
    then i discovered a problem . . .
    see, the foaming spray created a new layer on top of the stain . . .
    and maybe i'm just an idiot and i'm not doing it right, but . . .
    this new layer cakes itself onto the brillo pad so thickly that it essentially smooths the pad out . . .
    applying a slick, citrus finish to it and making it worthless . . .
    quickly, my point is that we need to make sure what we are applying in and to our lives . . .
    does us good . . .
    and doesn't render us inneffective for the tasks that we can call our own . . .
    even when it is supposed to help, it can also serve as a distraction and debilitator . . .
    without us realizing it until we are so saturated with it that it's tough to recover . . .
    anyway . . .
    time to rest my weary bones . . .


    4 July 2k2

    so, it's independence day . . .
    supposedly, there is a heightened security threat nation-wide . . .
    more so than any other day . . .
    so, i made sure to take care as i slept in . . .
    i really appreciate all that the government is doing for us . . .
    but i'm sick of all that the media is making of it . . .
    like the issuance of a health warning for the plague . . .
    where the last case was had two years ago . . .
    anyway . . .
    God bless America . . .


    so, i watched A Beautiful Mind last night . . .
    great movie . . .
    not exactly factual but still . . .
    i'll just leave it at this: Mr. Nash was not exactly . . .
    the upstanding citizen that is depicted in the film . . .
    but regardless . . .
    it got me thinking again . . .
    about mathematics and that entire community . . .
    there are people that believe that anything in life can be reduced to a mathematical formula . . .
    quite honestly, it is an interesting approach to life . . .
    however, it is a course of life that generally leads away from God . . .
    toward the arrogance you get a small peak at in the movie . . .
    and, oh yeah, a general disconnect from reality . . .
    i've actually spoken at great length with followers of this path . . .
    about the belief that everything reduces to a common denominator . . .
    about why God isn't often at the end of that journey . . .
    pretty interesting indeed . . .
    it is, in fact, most interesting to me that when mankind endeavors to find these . . .
    "answers to life" . . .
    they stop at the question of why . . .
    for example, maybe the feeding patterns of a pack of pigeons breaks out into a neat formulaic equation . . .
    but why? . . .
    we too quickly forget that discovering a greater insight isn't the end of the research . . .
    you still have the question of why? . . .
    so the actions of these pigeons can be charted out on paper . . .
    but why do they make these actions . . .
    where did their "programming" originate . . .
    hint, "because" doesn't answer the question . . .
    and it is at that point in the scientific method that you realize . . .
    you have reduced yourself to the common denominator revealed in Romans . . .

    For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
    - Romans 3:23 emphasis added


    so i revisited John Reuben's Hindsight . . .
    someone told me it was a bad album . . .
    and contrary to hip-hop standards . . .
    not bad meaning good, bad meaning bad . . .
    i told them that they were being absurd . . .
    but i had to listen again later to make sure . . .
    yep, i was right (big surprise) . . .
    this is the album hip-hop needed . . .
    but i'll be brief here . . .
    as my goal is to write reviews this weekend for TRu-dAT.music . . .
    i already have gotten my redesign claws into it . . .
    oMyAchingHead . . .


    3 July 2k2

    well i'm heading home for the weekend . . .
    not going anywhere, but will be away from work for 4 1/4 days!!! . . .
    i really hope that i do some writing this break . . .
    and reading . . .
    and recovering . . .
    i will be golfing bright and early friday morning . . .
    so that will be restful . . .
    and i actually had a good conversation with my boss . . .
    and am scheduled for a meeting with the next-higher level sometime in the near future . . .
    (but i'm still re-working my resume and online portfolio) . . .


    so i started thumbing through Merton's New Seeds of Contemplation . . .
    and i'm realizing that i am writing the same book . . .
    from my own perspective . . .
    here.
    somewhat . . .
    anyway . . .
    i'm going home . . .

    1 July 2k2

    new month, same old stuff . . .
    i really can't believe how annoying work has become over the last few weeks . . .
    it's amazing how being under appreciated can affect motivation . . .
    and it tears me up the way things work at work .. .
    i mean, i work for a "Christian" organization . . .
    but not all the employees here are Christians . . .
    and i'm getting lied to, mislead, dealt a dirty hand, etc . . .
    by the ones who do claim to be Christians . . .
    quite honestly, the most straight-forward, respectful treatment i recieve . . .
    comes from the co-workers that i'm trying to reach . . .
    and how am i supposed to convince them that they need to change . . .
    when they're the ones that are acting appropriately . . .
    how am i supposed to look them dead in their eyes and say . . .
    "do you see what you're missing?"
    i understand the anger Paul must have felt in confronting Peter at Antioch . . .

    "You are a [Christian], yet you live like a [heathen] and not like a [Christian]. How is it, then, that you force [heathens] to follow [Christian] customs?"
    (Gal. 14:2b NIV)*


    i mean, in the last two weeks . . .
    i have had a promised pay increase repealed and re-issued at a lower rate . . .
    i have had a promised retro-pay period repealed and re-issued for six months less time . . .
    i have been stone-walled in seeking a promotion for a second time . . .
    told that the position wasn't available due to a lack of funding . . .
    and then i found the position advertised on a popular job-seeker website . . .
    GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR . . . . .


    well, i have enough of my own shortcomings without worrying about others . . .
    i must remain faithful and diligent in my own actions . . .
    and trust that God knows what he is doing . . .
    i must admit though, all this has me second-guessing the boat i boarded while in Joppa . . .
    am i headed to Tarshish? or Ninevah? or somewhere else? . . .
    i suppose i just need a break to clear my head . . .
    (i did just take a day off) . . .
    i did manage to finish a book from my plate! . . .
    amazing, amazing book . . .
    i need to write more . . .
    i need to do more . . .
    quite honestly, my motivation level is next to nil . . .
    i can't even seem to find the music that will help drag me out of this quagmire . . .
    (and i have over 43000 songs at my disposal) . . .


    *

    the word "Christian" is substituted for "Jew"
    and "heathen" for "Gentile"
    - the gist of the statement is as such.