Monday, September 25, 2006

Jes' Chillin

So I'm enjoying some fabu music by my friend Mike while I write my chill blog entry for today. I'm feelin extremely sleepy which is manifesting in a very centered way. Even though today's the first day of class (which was extremely enjoyable - John Thompson is a very funny man), I'm not feeling the stress at all. I think because I have no internship stuff to do until Wednesday afternoon (after 5 straight days of thinking about nothing else). Hopefully that's gonna lay off now that classes are back in session. It was a tiring couple days and I'm pretty much in a haze. But hey, that keeps me from being too wiggy today.

There's a yoga studio in an old church nearby. I think I'm going to try out this class - check the description: "A basic, relaxing class that combines easy yoga postures with heart-opening lovingkindness meditations. This class is specifically designed to facilitate profound relaxation,acceptance, presence, joy and compassion." Yeah, baby. That sounds just like the perfect thing for a Monday. Or I could go Wednesdays, since by Wednesdays I'll have finished classes for the week. How about that?

But then I go to internship. And there's homework. Yay. Hm. Mike's done and now I can't get KCRW to load. Bitch. Oh, there it is. Sounds like crap though. Bummer.

Oh, so before I get to serious stuff I should share a bit about the TV I've been watching. It's ever-so-important for you to be up on my television viewing. I'm trying to convince the world that we're having a bit of a renaissance right now. There really is a lot of great stuff out there, and with most of it on DVD, you can fit it into your schedule (and do the weekend binge thing, always fun).

Anyway, we tried out Battlestar Galactica after much prodding by many people. I have to say I wasn't that into it. Kind of a big ho-hum for me. But J has been steadily growing in enthusiasm over the days since we watched. He almost let me turn it off b/c we were both bored. Now I guess it's grown on him as he's pondered it, because he won't let me take it off the Netflix queue. Okay then. I can give it another try.

We're also hooked on Carnivale, which has an extremely slow build but I'm hoping a worthy climax. We're about 1/2 way through season 1. I was rewatching Buffy season 6 during my week of break, and I think it is probably one of if not the best season. I'm going against the grain here, but it is just really classic.

As for new shows, here is the lowdown. We loved Studio 60, but who wouldn't love a new Sorkin show, esp one about our former lives in Hollywood? And the most intriguing thing is this Evangelical Christian character on there. We thought maybe she was based on Victoria Jackson but then someone else pointed out that the storyline involving her going on 700 club actually happened to Kristin Chenowith. Since the character looks like Kristin (and that Pat Robertson subplot is hardly a coincidence), we're guessing that's the basis. But how interesting! And so far, she seems normal and nice enough. This is a very intriguing thing for Aaron to try. I love his work so much - Sports Night, West Wing - so I have really really high hopes for this show. If only it weren't on too late. I have to tape it (and last week I messed up but thankfully I could watch it online - ain't technology grand?).

Last night I taped the unfortunately titled Sisters & Brothers. Apparently it's about Calista Flockhart being a Republican talk-show host who's not a mean person (can we get any more sci-fi fantasy??) but whose family is all liberal and consists of people like Sally Field and Balthazar Getty and Rachel Griffiths, as well as a super-nice gay brother and another who's in Afghanistan in the army (that might be Getty?). It's like the whole world of issues in one extended group of adults who are supposed to be believed related even though they don't look all that alike. Anyway I haven't watched it yet but I think it has real potential as a concept. I hope it doesn't suck. I'll let you know.

Finally I have to say I was amused by 'Til Death. It actually is fairly funny for a traditional comedy. I mean, it's no Arrested Development, but TV execs apparently don't know what to do with hysterically funny stuff.

OK, enough about unimportant subjects. Although I'll fight to the death for my right to fry my brain with TV. And the stuff I watch is worth watching. I'm just going to be one of those priests who makes constant pop culture references. It's in my nature. Can't help it. Love the pop culture.

But I also love whatever other culture I can get my hands on, and I went to a cool opening the other night of an exhibit you should see if you're in town. It's a series of works by orphaned children in Malawi at the Armory Center in Pasadena. Beautiful photos and heartbreaking drawings.

Yesterday I got to hear Susan Thistlethwaite speak. She's President of Chicago Theological Seminary (and may I say they have the coolest website I've EVER seen for a school!!). She pointed us to this awesome address by one of their profs. I'm just gonna say go read it.
She was giving a talk on "Biblical Self-Defense" at all saints. Basically telling people how to respond to those who wield the bible as a weapon towards them - but respond on their terms, meaning knowing the other side scripturally. This is a difficult concept for us mainliners, who prefer our bible in easily digestible lectionary bits and mixed into liturgical prayers with no sense of chapter or book context. And she gave us a little chiding for ignoring the bible, when in fact it's a simply wonderful thing for us liberals to know. I mean, just read the thing - God is totally on our side!

Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating a bit.

Anyway, Madame President was telling us how to wrestle with Scripture instead of ignore it, how to read the bible contextually, and reminding us to read all of it, not just the bits we like (which people on both sides of any debate are guilty of doing). All stuff I know from seminary, but I'm really glad she was there to tell the laypeople about it. She did it in such a clear and understandable way. Really nice work. She mainly used a Jewish approach, which is unafraid to question the text. She said, "A lifelong love of Scripture is a lifelong argument with God." Doesn't that make us feel better about the book of Judges? :)

I think God loves our challenges - loves our arguing. I was thinking as I walked (!) to school this morning all about whether God purposely created bananas as they are (guess what my breakfast was) or if She just set some systems in motion and then saw how things turned out. Isn't it a neat idea, to think of God eagerly anticipating how the next plant or animal or star will evolve? Watching this awesome system that She's set in motion start to produce actual living things. Funny shapes and colors, powerful energy and emotions. Breath. Sex. Birth. Death. Photosynthesis. Chameleons. I mean, come on - that had to be a kick. I like to think that while there may have been an idea, and goals, perhaps some of it (and here I go heretical again) was a surprise. The way the world turned out - good and bad - a surprise. God laughing and clapping at the beauty of it all. Just read Job again - the chapters where God speaks are all about creation, and God seems as amazed as we get about it. God's proud of it but also in wonder at it, I think.

And at us, too. I hope we surprise God. In good ways, mostly. I bet when we do disappointing things it's not too much of a surprise. But we can make God laugh and clap, too.

Well anyway, I should close this up. I do want to make one advertisement, and that's for the new category of membership at All Saints' called "Solidarity Membership." Anyone, from any religion or none at all, is welcome to support their legal fund, and any amount will get you this type of membership. I think it's a totally cool way for those who agree with the principle of this freedom fight to stand behind it without necessarily aligning themselves with anything else they aren't comfortable with (Christianity, liberalism, Episcopals, etc). I hope we get lots of support from those conservative Evangelicals who put voter guides in churches and preach on the virtues of our current administration. They need this freedom more than anybody!

So if you want to participate, just visit All Saints' website, and instructions are in the 2nd paragraph under the "IRS Update" banner.


JTB said...

There's so much else to respond to but I just want to say yay Battlestar Galactica. It is seriously (no, really) going into the dissertation. All that lovely posthuman stuff.

Tom ta tum Tom said...


You have here touched on a subject with which I have been struggling for some time. You write, " think of God eagerly anticipating how the next plant or animal or star will evolve?"

I am SO worn out with the 'foreordination' folks who insist that God has nailed down everything from the beginning. And I personally lean toward the 'God foreknows every possibility' camp that thinks the final decisions may be left in our hands (saying, more or less that we choose how history will unfold).

Please just let me ask for your opinion. Does the mind of God really encompass every possible outcome of every possible event and does She really foreknow every possible consequence of every possible decision?

No, I don't expect you to know all of this but you're in school. Who do you know that's writing about this stuff? Any books you can recommend?

Your writing is encouraging. You seem to have much hope. So do I. I am convinced that God is gonna win, in spite of the fact this administration has taken Her Name for their political purposes. I think God is not mocked and we are witnessing the historic consequence of a nation's idolatry. So, please, keep on bloggin'!

Thanks, Feminarian!

Stasi said...

I will know more later, because in my theology/anthropology class we're studying Open Theism and God & Time. But off the top of my head I'd say type Openness of God into Amazon. Anzthing that comes up is good. Suddenlz this computer is switching y and z. Sorrz for the weirdness.

Tom ta tum Tom said...


Wow! The 'Openness' of God! I never would have had a CLUE! You were right! Thanks for pointing me in the right direction. I can't believe there's so much of that out there.