Friday, 30 May 2008

The Things I Learn on the Job...

I have a "porcelain" skin tone.

Adam was a Mennonite.

12,000 mints cost about 205 dollars.

I am an INTJ, but not extremely so. (Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Judging)

Chockablock means "crammed full".

And... driving backwards through curvy alleyways at decent speeds is a sure-fire way to break up the monotony of a day.

Jacques Clouseau: What? What did you say?
Ponton: Nothing.
Jacques Clouseau: You mean, you didn't just say, 'Stop the car, dear God, I beg of you'?

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Andrew and Probie's Odd Job

My boss was very late the first day of my new job at church, leaving Andrew, who is my coworker, and I scrounging for things to do. Eventually one of the pastors approached us with a few sheets of paper. Naturally, we assumed he had a job for us to do in our spare time.


He handed us both a sheet of paper entitled Are You Ready For Marriage? "Seeing as you have nothing else to do," he said sweetly, "I thought you could discuss this with each other. You have to think about this before a situation arises. And this is just perfect, because I know neither of you are involved in anything yet, so you'll have an objective male perspective, and an objective female perspective."

Now, he has a point. Apparently people don't think straight when they're completely enamored with another person, although I'm not sure why. But despite the fact that we have nothing against this friendly pastor, neither Andrew nor I are hunting for a soul mate just yet, and we found the situation rather unexpected and a little funny. How many 19-year-olds are paid to sit around discussing their hypothetical future marriages?

Nevertheless, we obeyed. Or started to. Perhaps we were too objective and removed. We hit a road block with criteria number 2, which said that being around your potential partner mustn't drain you.

Question: if being around your romantic partner is supposed to energize you, and not drain you, then are you both really hosed if one of you has ADHD? Are ADHD people forever barred from a happy marriage? Wouldn't some draining be a good thing for them? For that matter, just what exactly did the paper mean with the word "drain"?

While we were arguing the definition of drain, our boss walked in and we got to work. It's almost too bad. I would have liked to have seen what other debates arose from that paper.

My advice to you is get married: if you find a good wife you'll be happy; if not, you'll become a philosopher.” Socrates paraphrased

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Last Stand of the Lego Men

I thought this was kinda fun. It's quite a bit like the Lego battles my brother and I have with each other, except there's no Happy Pit in this video, or insane, carnivorous monkeys.

Plus, Bigfoot usually shows up in our battles a little sooner.

My significant other at the moment is myself. That's what happens when you suffer from multi-personality disorder and self-obsession.” Joaquin Phoenix

But if you're turned into a megabot Lego-man by a wizard, does that still count for multiple personalities and a bloated ego?

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Very Happy

Whee! I have just been hired by my church to organize and lead the children's programs all summer - the day camps, family camps, random events, Sunday stuff, etc. And I'm excited! It'll be tough, but I'm looking forward to it. What better summer job could anyone ask for?

And since it's only about four days a week, it doesn't look like I'll have to quit Tim Horton's, which will make it easier once the school year starts up again.

And on another note, go see Prince Caspian. It rocks. And I LOVE Susan's dress with the poofy sleeves at the end. It's so pretty! Apparently it's a little different from the book, or so says my brother (I don't remember much about the book), but it's good, regardless.

My favourite line from the movie:
Edmund to Miraz: You mean, you're "bravely" refusing to fight someone half your age?

Monday, 19 May 2008

Is This Communist Christianity?

I've been pondering the economic systems of capitalism and socialism recently. I've been taught all my life that capitalism is the only "Christian" system, and that socialism/communism is a nice idea, but one that will never work. Here's what I think that I think (my thoughts on this matter are still up in the air).

I won't argue that a quick peek at world history will show us that regulated socialism doesn't work if you're looking for a productive community. But I do argue that capitalism doesn't work either, in terms of being a productive community. North America may be productive, but it sure doesn't have the same sense of community that a lot of much poorer places do.

Here's why socialism, as we know it, doesn't work. People are naturally selfish. This has several results:

1. The people who do the regulating end up taking much more than they allow anyone else. This corrupt form of government takes away the people's freedom and their ability to dissent, because the government is the only one with the means for control.

2. People who, on a scale from one to ten, ten being the highest, have a work ethic of zero continue to get the same amount of benefits that the hardest of workers get. This gives them no incentive to work hard, because for most people, there is much less internal motivation to work for the good of others as there is to work for one's own good. Therefore, laziness reigns.

3. People who have a much better work ethic will be quickly develop conditioned helplessness. If the fruits of their labours continue being ripped away to be given to the bums who don't deserve it, selfishness again reigns supreme, and they lose their motivation to work hard, and don't even try

Capitalism manages to steer clear of these issues. With the freedom afforded by capitalism, productivity soars, and most people retain the fruits of the labours. Instead, capitalism falls prey to the issues materialism, greed, and factions. Canada is so satiated by materialism, it's suffocating. What can you do when you're constantly worried about getting and keeping things? You work 9 til 5 so that you can pay for your car that you use to drive to and from work, and for the house where you sleep, because heaven forbid you sleep in the car or at the place where you work. It's a pointless cycle, or if it's got a point, it's a tragically selfish one.

Community cannot thrive in this sort of situation. For a community to exist, the focus must be people, and not things. Relationships, not goals.

Now I know that the Bible doesn't say everyone is entitled to equal economic standing. But it does say to look after the widows and the orphans. Contrary to what may appear to be the fact, not everyone is poor is because they have lousy work ethics. Sometimes they just can't quite get ahead, either due to bad luck or bad ideology. Either way, I think we, as followers of Christ, are required to help them. Help the luckless ones overcome the bad luck, love the incorrect or lazy ones and try to point them down the right path. We don't all need to end up with three cars and mansions. In fact, I think it would be better if most of us ended up with only a little more than we need.

Communism and socialism can never work when it's regulated. It can't work if it's forced. Ultimately, I think the best regulated economic system is capitalism. But if people make a conscious decision that they wish to live, sharing freely with whomever needs it, and if these people come together as one unit and turn it into a lifestyle, then what is to say that it won't work?

You retain the right to your things, if you so choose to keep them. You maintain the motivation to work. But you choose to share. And the more you give and share, the less you have, and the less you allow greed and materialism to inhibit you.

Naturally, it would be difficult to maintain this lifestyle if people didn't reciprocate, but if one could get a group started, then you'd have the best of both worlds – the community and the productivity. I like the idea of interdependence.

I want to live in a place where I can leave the door open, and people can pop by whenever they like just to chat, whip up a snack, or take a nap. I want kids to show up asking for popsicles, and where I can hug those kids without having to be worried about being sued for it. Yes, I know things might get stolen if I leave the door open. But I don't want to be worried about things. Yes, I know that some people might not deserve the things they get, but if I choose to give it to them, then it's not unjust.

Matthew 19:21 says “Jesus answered, 'If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

I know this idea requires more development, and it surely wouldn't be a perfect system. But I think it's something to strive for. Yes, I know what you're thinking: this sounds something like Shane Claiborne and Gustavo Gutierrez (who, incidentally, worked in Peru). And yes, it is somewhat similar, though I don't pretend to agree totally with either one. But let me clarify one thing: I believe this would be the best economic system, though it's mostly just that. It certainly doesn't contain the entirety of Christianity.

Well, any thoughts?

People had taught me what Christians believe, but not one had told me how Christians live.” Shane Claiborne

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Leix and Caelum

Well, I don't really know what to post, so I thought I'd post a little snippet of writing I did recently. I don't know if I'll ever write the story surrounding it, but this scene kept playing itself in my mind, so I had to type it out.

Setting: fantasy world, in the middle ages
Note: Caelum is an odd girl. She's either simple or something, but no one knows really what's up with her.

Leix found Caelum in the royal garden. The breeze was picking up, and the evening air was crisp and chilly. Caelum was huddled against the stone wall, rocking back and forth, face buried in her knees. Worried that he may send her scuttling off if he were to call to her, he strode toward her silently. As he stood before her, looking down, he could just make out softs sobs emanating from her quaking form.

“I killed it,” she whispered.

“What did you kill, Caelum?” Leix asked, dropping to a squatting position. He reached out a hand to stroke her hair and to prompt her to look up.

“The bird,” she replied, sniffling. The breeze picked up her hair, sending wisps across the front of her face, making her look even more sorrowful. “It was singing, and I killed it.”

Leix furrowed his brow. “It was accidental, I'm sure.”

“No...” Caelum groaned, turning her face away. Once again she pressed her head into her arms and knees, resuming her rocking.

“Caelum...” Leix started.

“Ow, ow, ow,” she whined.

Leix turned slightly, trying to catch sight of her bird. He didn't find it. Best try to distract her, he though. “Listen, Caelum, come inside from the cold and perhaps we can swipe some hot cider from the cook, yes?”

This bought no response. Sighing, he gently pried one of her arms out of its curled position. And he froze. Her hand and her sleeve were covered in blood. Far too much blood for a bird. Frowning, he gently pried her other arm away. More blood. And now he could see the blood stains on the front of her dress, as well. She continued sobbing.

His words came a little faster than they should have come from a calm and collected knight. “Are you injured, Caelum? Whose blood is this? What happened?”

He could see it wasn't hers. “Whose blood? Whose blood is this?” He could already feel the bile rising in his throat while his heart sank into his intestines. Where was his brother?

The girl shook her head and broke into louder sobs, attempting to avoid Leix's eyes by burying her face in her own shoulder.

Leix released her arms and stood up. Although he was growing more distressed by the moment, he willed himself to think rationally. Where to go first? Did he leave her while he went to tell Commander Caleb? Or did he scoop her up and carry her with him? He stood indecisively for only a moment before picking her up. She came willingly, wrapping her arms around his neck.

“Caelum,” he said once more as he started back for the castle interior, “Caelum, this is important! Please tell me. Whose blood is this?”

She rubbed her face against the fabric on his shoulder. “The bird,” she repeated. “Bird, bird, no bird. And no more singing.”

Quote: "Duck, duck, noooo duck." - My sister at two years old, after witnessing our vehicle tragically run over a family of ducklings. My sister, however, said this matter-of-factly. Caelum was weeping and inconsolable.

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Just Wandering...

Topic 1: Up to this point in time, whenever I went wandering, I was truly gone, because I didn't understand smoke signals, and didn't have a cell.

Now I do. That is, I have a cell phone. I still don't understand smoke signals.

Topic 2: Up to this point in time, whenever I went wandering, I couldn't stray far, because I could only pull out so much money from my bank account each day. Nor could I write any cheques, because I hadn't any.

Now I have a credit card on its way. And some cheques.

Topic 3: I'm pretty sure there's something that I should be doing right now, but I can't remember what it (or they) is (or are).

Ogden's law:
The sooner you fall behind, the more time you have to catch up.

No, wait! One more.
Topic 4:
My brother now has Fire Emblem 6 for us. Yaaayyy!

Friday, 2 May 2008

So That's What Stinks...

My psychology textbook tells me that the rate of smokers in North America has dropped drastically in the last couple of decades.

Only 25% of people above the age of 12 smoke!!!

And the excitement of the authors dripped off the page. Doesn't that just make your day?

Reid: Garcia, we're sending you some cigarettes.
Garcia: Why not a flesh-eating virus? It'll be faster and far less painful.