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Showing posts from May, 2010

Shopping List

Badminton rackets and birdies, for playing badminton together

Towels and washcloths to match the color scheme in our new bathroom (blue, red, gold, white)

Bubble bath bombs (with sparkles, in various scents)

Fuzzy house slippers, ideally in pink (for her)

"Gateway to the North Maple Sugar Seasoning" (house mixture from the Spice House)

Plasir Cuffs (oh, use your imagination! But only in the best possible taste...)

Yellow Brick Road

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With Joy, into the future!

The Order of Marriage

It seems obvious once you think about it, so why did it take so long to occur to me? Here it is: married couples are supposed to have sex. Lots and lots and lots of sex. As much sex as monks and nuns have prayer. Okay, maybe not that much (the Divine Office takes hours a day, after all), but why not? Because sex is "dirty"? Because marriage is only one notch up from burning? Because sex really "should" be only about making babies and anything else is simply self-indulgent, probably sinful excess?

Wrong! Sex is none of these things, at least, not sex in marriage. Sex in marriage is holy and sanctified. It is the reason that marriage is a sacrament. Far from insisting that it would have been better for them to call the whole thing off and vow themselves to perpetual celibacy, Jesus made wine for the couple getting married at Cana. Sex in marriage is right and pure. It is also, I have finally realized, a form of worship as well as an expression of love.

I …

His & Hers

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Hope, Joy & Love

On Friday morning, I found hope in the park. Literally. Hope is a 5'-something African-American veteran daughter of a Vietnam veteran. She, like her father, used to train dogs for the military. She had seen me struggling day after day trying to learn to walk my dog, but until Friday, I had never actually taken the time to talk with her. I was explaining to her and some of the other dog owners on the hill about how I was trying to use a ball filled with kibble to try to entice my dog to move, and she said, "Give me two minutes, and I can teach your dog to walk." Desperate and curious, I said, "Okay."

First, she demonstrated how to communicate with her dog: when the dog does anything other than pay attention to you, e.g. run too far forward, go after another dog, drag behind when you are wanting to walk, you move in such a way that the leash tightens sharply, say "No!", and then carry on in the direction that you want to go. I laughed: "I'…

The White Rider

"He laid his hand on Gimli's head, and the Dwarf looked up and laughed suddenly. 'Gandalf!' he said. 'But you are all in white!'

"'Yes, I am white now,' said Gandalf. 'Indeed I am Saruman, one might almost say, Saruman as he should have been... I have passed through fire and deep water, since we parted. I have forgotten much that I thought I knew, and learned again much that I had forgotten. I can see many things far off, but many things that are close at hand I cannot see....

"'Come, Gandalf,' [Gimli said], 'tell us how you fared with the Balrog!'

"'Name him not!' said Gandalf, and for a moment it seemed that a cloud of pain passed over his face, and he sat silent, looking old as death. 'Long time I fell,' he said at last, slowly, as if thinking back with difficulty. 'Long I fell, and he fell with me. His fire was about me. I was burned. Then we plunged into the deep water and all was dark…

Balrog, Beware!

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"I am a servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the flame of Anor! You cannot pass. The dark fire will not avail you, flame of Udûn. Go back to the Shadow! You cannot pass."

--J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1994), p. 322.

With thanks to the "Hitchcocker's Guide to the Snellaxy" 2010 University of Chicago Scavenger Hunt team for the opportunity to battle the Balrog.* And congratulations for coming in first!

*Oh, and just if you're wondering now that you've seen the video, we had a long discussion (complete with the text of LotR, which "Gandalf" just happened to have on hand) about the signature line. We knew that in the book, Gandalf only says, "You cannot pass," but thanks to the movie, the terms of the ScavHunt item were that Gandalf should say, "You shall not pass!" So we went for the points.

The Revenge of the Dark on Those Who Dare to Be Makers of Light

"Will said, 'What did he do, the craftsman?'

"'He called together all the makers in the land,' Gwion said. He tilted his head a little higher. 'All those who wrote, or brought life to others' words or music, or who made beautiful things. And he said to them, I have this work in me, I know it, that will be the peak of everything I can ever make or do, and the Dark is trying to forbid me to do it. We may all suffer, if I deny them their will, and I cannot therefore be responsible alone for deciding. Tell me. Tell me what I should do.'

"Bran was gazing at him. 'What did they say?'

"'They said. You must make it.' Gwion smiled, proudly. 'Without any exception. Make the sword, they said. So he went away into a place of his own, and made Eirias, and in a land of wonders it was the most wonderful and powerful thing that had ever been made. And the fury of the Dark was very great, but impotent, for the Dark Lords kne…

Hallowed Be Thy Name

So I hadn't meant to be working on this particular post here at 1 in the morning, but life has a funny way of throwing things at you that you don't entirely plan. I'm awake, and I need to pray.

"Hallowed be thy Name." I'm not sure which is the biggest stumbling block: "Our Father," "Who art in Heaven," or this one: "Hallowed be thy Name." As in when people say, "You have your name for God, I have mine," as if to suggest that there is some reality in the rivalry between the names. And yet, note that nowhere does the Lord's Prayer actually name God other than as "Father." Maybe there is a gender issue at stake here, although I think not. Rather, the prayer is simply stating the fact that God has a Name and that it should be sanctified, kept holy, hallowed.

I know, I've heard all about "the Christian God," as if there could be others. As if somehow the Christians had their own private god (…

Interval Training for Puppies

5:36pm By elevator ready to leave mommy's office for home. Ride elevator down to lobby, walk outside and pee (which, by the by, you haven't done since about 12:30pm, so not bad on the housetraining front). Sniff every several feet along the front of the building, occasionally making more than a few steps' progress before stopping. Make it to the middle of the quad only to see a) another dog, b) some birds, c) two little girls who at first are nervous but then want to "pet the puppy." Jump back and forth in play bows barking, but don't get near enough to the girls to be petted. Move a few more steps, stop and watch yet another dog. Somehow make it out of the first quad into the main part of campus, stop to sniff some students' feet (but not to be petted), poop, then chase more students.

5:49pm Leave campus, sort of (not the best road crossing, some dragging necessary not to get caught in the traffic, mild though it usually is). Start chasing bicycl…

Puppy's Report Card

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Age: 6 months minus a day or so.

Vocabulary
"Sit!" Knew this one at 2 months, but still a little slow. Tends to want to know you're serious before committing to butt-down.

"Down!" Still working this one with food treats, but will go down on her tummy with just the finger-tap to the floor with mommy standing up, which is huge progress from having to slide under mommy's leg while she (mommy) was sitting down.

"Inside!" Used (with food treat) when you want to pick her up to carry her back upstairs/indoors. Was supposed to be a command that encouraged her to come, but works nicely if you walk towards her. She will usually sit still waiting for you, sometimes move a bit towards you if she especially wants the treat. Very important for being able to get to class on time if you happen to have taken her outside on campus and she's frolicking in the quad.

"Rope!" Used (without food treat) when you're walking down the hall in the apartme…

Menu for the Day: Sour & Sweet

Sour: Waking up at 4:38 am with a charley horse in my left calf, possibly from doing the touches on my target at home these past few days without warming up my en garde properly.
Sweet: Being awake early enough to review the text for today's discussion, along with revising my discussion notes and PowerPoint slides, all before 9:30am.*

Sour: Having no way to take a shower at home, as the workmen are still laying the tile in our bathroom. Plus, we have no faucets yet. Or shower head.
Sweet: Being able to wash my hair in the kitchen sink under the new faucet, which is tall enough to enable me to rinse my hair out simply by bending over. (Plus it has a built-in filter for drinking water.)

Sour: Having the puppy poop and pee on the floor of my son's bedroom--again.
Sweet: Finding her following me down the hall with her "rope" already in her mouth, rather than having to tell her to go get it so that she would stop "herding" my feet.

Sour: Having to carry my puppy f…

Quote for the Day, On the Four Senses of Scripture

"The literal sense is the story,
while for teaching we seek allegory.
The moral tells when
we've been naughty--but then
anagogy prefigures our glory."*

Take that, Nicholas of Lyra! (Actually, Augustine of Dacia, but never mind.)

*Richard Kieckhefer, There Once Was a Serpent: A History of Theology in Limericks (Winchester, UK: O Books, 2010), p. 28.

Who Art In Heaven

Now that I've chased the puppy into a panic while trying (and failing) to get the sticky seed pods out of her fur, I suppose it's time to continue my musings about saying the Lord's Prayer. I had thought on Monday when I was writing about the "Our Father" that I would find the next clause, "who art in Heaven," a tad bit easier going, but thanks to something I read since, now I'm not so sure.

I like the image of Heaven and the problem of thinking about what "Heaven" means much more than the quite literally more mundane address to "daddy". Heaven, it seems to me, is a fairly expansive concept, however we try to imagine it celestially. I don't know if Jesus was thinking of Heaven as "the place beyond the stars" or as something more otherworldly or out-of-this-universe or even as a place at all. We tend now to think of Heaven as not so much a place as a state of being in harmony with God. I like holding that image i…