Walking Dead : “Prey”

March 19, 2013

Since I have no one to talk about this right now and I don’t want Facebook to know how much TV I watch, I’ll record my multitude of thoughts while watching this episode.

– At the beginning of the episode, before Milton re-turned her: I am so sick of Andrea and her bullshit.  I really would have thought she would have had more sense than to stick around Woodbury so long and act all neutral in its conflict with the prison group.

– Milton, the scientist who doesn’t know jack about how the world actually works.  Were I still in academia, this character would haunt me.

– The Governor is torturing her, trying to scare her as he looks for her, rattling his shovel on the chain link fence and otherwise making noise.  He is a bully, through and through.  There must be a stronger word for this that I am forgetting — sadist?  He has a gun and shovel, she’s probably run about 10 miles, and as far as he knows, she’s totally unarmed.

– I feel like The Walking Dead is a morality play, that’s what I love most about it (that and its amazing ability to build suspense).  The contrast between the strong black guy with a conscience and the off-seeming white guy who wanted to kill people back at the prison and to side with the Governor now … I feel like it’s just such a vivid portrait of good versus of evil, of people who try to do right by others even when it means giving up something or taking a risk, and the lawless, violent impulses that in polite society are usually masked.

– Love the confrontation scene between Andrea and the Governor!  The ominous pulsing of electronic music, the slightly down and to the side angles from which their faces are shot, the way their faces are almost spotlit in the darkened room, the resigned / noble / mysterious look on Andrea’s face, and of course the way she escapes him.

– Don’t know if this was intentional, but the Gov’s face totally looked like Jason through the windshield as he was driving back to Woodbury






The Elder Son

December 5, 2012

“I tried so hard, worked so long, did so much, and still I have not received what others get so easily.  Why do people not thank me, not invite me, not play with me, not honor me, while they pay so much attention to those who take life so easily and so casually?” – Henri Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal Son, p. 72

“F* the man.”

November 13, 2012

One of my customers claimed to have invented the phrase “fuck the man.”  Five years ago.  Totally delusional, right?


Here’s what happened: the cheesy contest gimmick currently labelling our tip jars is He-Man vs. GI-Joe.  I was on bar, but happened to overhear a customer saying, “The only superhero that matters.”  In a rare attempt at workplace humor, I said, “Jesus?”  He had no idea what I meant, I explained, he came over to me to explain what he had meant. 

He said: what he had meant was, “F-U-K-T-H-A-M-A-N.”  I visualized that and realized what he was saying. I said, “I get it … is that a person? … Or a concept?”

I don’t remember how he fielded that exactly, but his basic response was, “I invented that phrase.  And all the mugs and t-shirts that bear it.”  I, feeling skeptical but in my usual way of giving people a change to explain themselves when they say something I don’t understand, said, “Wow, you’ve really had a big influence on pop culture.  I feel like people have been saying that for a long time.”


He said, “What kind of people have you heard say that?”

I said: “Grad students.” (Of course, the list is larger than that.)  “And I went to grad school for six-and-a-half years.”

His basic response was to re-affirm that he had coined it, I stepped away to do something else, and he left.

My emotional response:

– people are funny

– this guy might be truly crazy

– or he might only be claiming to have invented the phrase “Fuk tha man” as opposed to “Fuck the man.”




November 4, 2012

I just had an idea for a job that I really would like: writing a weekly column about my linguistic pet peeves.  I would *never* run out of material.
Stuff I can think of off the top of my head (of course, I think of more things every day):
– preposition + “he and I”
– that fact that the helping verb “may” (as in “May I have…”) is dying out
– the non-use of the perfect tense in appropriate situations, e.g. “Have you eaten?”
– the regularity with which Latinos order “one caramel frappucino” instead “a caramel frappucino.”  It’s begun to grate.
– “ventay” instead of “venti”
– I don’t mind when common folk say “nucular,” but when I hear it on TV, it really pisses me off

Drawbacks to this as a career:
– it would be very bad for my character
– it would open me up to criticism myself (I’ve observed this in comments sections)
– no one would actually pay me for these insights

to barackobama@info.com

November 2, 2012

Barack –
I’m keep telling myself that I’m not going to give you any more money.  After all I’m a failed grad student / part-time barista, so I don’t exactly have cash to burn.  But because I love you so much and want you to win so bad, and because I’m hoping that, like Naram-Sin and other beleaguered statesmen of old, you’ll snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, I’m going to give you *$100*.
That really is it though!

I’ll always love R.C. Sproul because of…

August 17, 2012

1. His sexy voice

2. His teaching on the holiness of God and predestination

3. His story about his German shepherd that got bit by a rattle snake (and belief that dogs go to heaven)

4. Most of all, his story about getting “caught” smoking while acting as the guest preacher at a Baptist retreat.  He probably doesn’t still smoke, but he totally seems like a smoker, in a good way.

Roommate Search in DC

December 21, 2011

Sifting through ads for Christian roommates, a lot of people want someone who’s fun-loving/light-hearted/optimistic, and a non-smoker. Thoughts:

1. It’s going to be hard to find a roommate.

2. There are things I’ll miss about academia.

Augustine Heard a Voice

June 8, 2011

A friend and I had a conversation about whether mysticism must be in contrast to theological learning, or orthodoxy, or obedience. I ventured a guess that most of the church fathers and famous ancient and medieval theologians had amazing prayer lives — e.g. I feel like I read or heard about some vision that Thomas Aquinas once had. I’m not looking to be a mystic on the order of Catherine of Siena or Julian of Norwich, but I am looking to feel, not just assent to, the loving presence of God. I’ve never heard anyone call St. Augustine a mystic, but even he heard a voice.

But sometimes the step is a distinct and vivid experience. Then we get the strange facts of conversion: when through some object or event–perhaps quite small object or event–in the external world, another world and its overwhelming attraction and demand is realized. An old and limited state of consciousness is suddenly, even violently, broken up and another takes its place. It was the voice of a child saying “Take, read!” which at last made St. Augustine cross the frontier on which he had been lingering, and turned a brilliant and selfish young professor into one of the giants of the Christian Church; and voice which to come seemed to come from the Crucifix, which literally made the young St. Francis, unsettled and unsatisfied, another man than he was before. It was while St. Ignatius sat by a stream and watched the running water, and while the strange old cobbler Jacob Bohme was looking at the pewter dish, that there was shown to each of them the mystery of the Nature of God. It was the sudden sight of a picture at a crucial moment of her life which revealed to St. Catherine of Genoa the beauty of Holiness, and by contrast her own horribleness; and made her for the rest of her life the friend and servant of the unseen Love. All these were various glimpses of one living Perfection, and woke up the love and desire for that living perfection, latent in every human creature, which is the same thing as the love of God, and the substance of a spiritual life. A spring is touched, a Reality always there discloses itself in its awe-inspiring majesty and intimate nearness, and becomes the ruling fact of existence; continually presenting its standards, and demanding a costly response. And so we get such an astonishing scene, when we reflect upon it, as that of the young boy Francis of Assisi, little more than a boy, asking all night long the one question which so many apparently mature persons have never asked at all: “My God and All, what art Thou and what am I?” and we realize with amazement what a human creature really is–a finite center of consciousness, which is able to apprehend, and long for, Infinity.

The Spiritual Life

some things that bother me on OKCupid

April 21, 2011

– the 40-year-old man who’s looking for a woman who’s “sweet and fun,” a “girl next door,” has a nice figure and preferably has never been married. BTW, the staff robot totally called it: I am a 0% match and 100% enemy with this person.

– men who are looking for women one year below them and younger.

– This isn’t something that I’m really bitter about, but I’m tired and even wary of men who say they are are Smart, Intelligent, Sensitive, Caring (these words are capitalized, usually)…. Show, not tell, people. I tend to think that someone who states baldly that he is intelligent, etc, etc, most likely isn’t.

My blog title

April 16, 2011

feels truer than ever right now. But don’t worry, I’m not having dangerous thoughts. Just very aware of my own fragility and finitude. Lord Jesus, come quickly.


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