Sunday, November 16, 2003

um... your panic is showing.

Sorry... I told some people I know about this blog in late August, and haven't written anything since. Stupid psychology trick #1.

This is my toe in the water... (its impossible to drown in a teacup, silly.) We'll see who wins: me, or my toddler-minded ego.

Monday, September 01, 2003

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Loud Equals Right

If you challenge something I say, you can probably expect me to yell. I first equated “loud” with “right” when I was about ten years old. I was with riding with my Dad in the car, discussing what we’d seen on our trip to a marine animal park the summer before.

"Dolphins don't have teeth," said my Dad, "they have kind of a beak."

"Nuh Uh! They do so have teeth," I said from the back seat of the car. "I read it in a book somewhere. They’re not fish, they’re mammals like us. They breathe air." I gave a little nod, then. I could see the page from the book in my head.

Dad got a little louder. "I know they breathe air. I’m not stupid," he said, looking quickly at me in the rear-view mirror. "But I’ve seen them, and they don’t have teeth. They just grab a fish with their jaws and swallow—"

"You’re wrong!" I said, louder yet this time and leaning toward him.

There was a pause then. I watched the neighbors' yards go by, waiting to feel the car turn and stop under the droopy willow next to the garage. My dad drove past our house! He sucked in a big breath, red in the face, and I figured I had gone too far.

"Listen to you!" he finally bellowed. "What book did you see it in?"

I looked down, my face hot. "I don’t remember, Dad." I wondered if he knew the house was back there.

"Hah!" he said, "you don’t know."

"Yes I do!" I yelled, even louder than him. "I don’t know what book it was but it was a picture of a dolphin smiling and there was a little circle at the edge of the dolphin’s mouth. The little circle was connected to a bigger circle over to the side and the bigger circle had a close up in it with a bunch of LITTLE POINTY TEETH!" I yelled that last part so loud that the seat in front of me had spit dots on it.

Yelling at my dad usually meant he would yell at me a lot more. I didn’t care. I was right!

"Well," said my dad after a minute, "I guess I’m not really sure they don’t have teeth." He pulled into a driveway and backed out, going home. He didn't say anything else. I was stunned. He wasn’t mad anymore. I didn’t get grounded or anything. I won.

I really did know dolphins had teeth, but I won because I was loud. So, I end up wanting to yell whenever somebody challenges my ideas. Thirty-Something me knows this is silly. But ten-year-old me sneaks onto the controls once in a while, and boy, when that happens, look out!

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

My sister-in-law belongs to the local peace group. She met other members of the group while she was protesting the recent war in Iraq, and is an active participant. She called yesterday to give me a heads-up on what's going on with them. At a recent gathering, nearly everyone expressed support for abortion on demand. "Its so funny," she said, "All these people who are against killing can be pro-abortion." Later she said, "Sometimes they make good points." I could tell it bothered her a little.

We ended up discussing the difficulties she has, being both Catholic and Liberal. I wear different political labels than she and her friends do, but during our talk I realized that regardless of labels, being politically and socially aware means there is no list somewhere of all the "right" things to believe. We are confronted with an issue, and we each make up our minds about it. What I think is probably hardest is confronting the same issue over and over again as we get older and learn more. My sister-in-law is struggling with women's rights to abortion, and I've been struggling with the issue of contraception.

I made up my mind to side with the Catholic Church against artificial contraception several years ago, based on an understanding of what I believe marriage is designed to be: a union between two people who submit themselves to God. I believe that God is the Creator, and that a Christian couple is most correct when he gets to decide the size of their family. But that's where it stops being simple. When two people are having sex and they are not a married, Christian couple, they aren't leaving their reproductive decisions to God. Someone needs to make the decisions. Despite my convictions about artificial contraception, I can tell you from experience that the same rules don't easily apply to every situation.

Over fifteen years ago, as a high-school senior, I entered my first sexual relationship. I believed it was the wrong thing to do, but did it anyway. I didn't use artificial contraception, though: at some point, my boyfriend asked if he should "get something." My mother belatedly tried to get me on the pill. I would not hear it. I got embarrassed, told myself "It doesn't matter because I'm never going to do it again." Of course, I did. And of course, I got pregnant. I grew up; I learned to made practical decisions for myself for my daughter's sake. I know what it costs to become a mom at eighteen.

My talented, beautiful, and now teenaged daughter is _going places_. I want her to wait until she's married to have sex. I'd like to teach her what I believe about artificial contraception. However, I do not want her to get pregnant and then grow up! Thinking about that, I catch myself coming up with desperate schemes to gain control of the situation. But the truth is, I am unlikely to be nearby, let alone in control, when she faces an opportunity to have sex. What she does then is her choice. So, when we talk about chastity, I tell her what I want for her and why. I also tell her that whether I like her decision or not, I am on her side: if she does have sex before she is married, she needs to use protection and birth control-- and she can come to me to get it.

There's no simplifying this one. I have to live with making two choices on this issue, because my first responsibility is not to my principles, but to my family.

This weekend has been feature-heavy, light on content

I was reading about BlogSnob in Biz Stone's Blogging: Genius Strategies for Instant Web Content and it got me started on a whole campaign of feature upgrades. I think I got it out of my system now.

Thursday, August 07, 2003

Iron Maiden won't suck!

In today's update at Melodic Rock Bruce Dickenson of Iron Maiden has eloquently distilled a true musician's take on the file sharing debate.

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Stryper on tour in October 2003! -STRYPER is Back! Yes, the fathers of Christian metal are officially reuniting to tour. Talk of this has been buzzing around since Cornerstone 2001; the spirit and enthusiasm shown by fans and insiders over that reunion set was a testament to God's use of their ministry. What is especially exciting to me is remembering the cautious optimism I heard from Tim standing next to the stage that blistering July day as he told me about it. I will never again see STRYPER simply as God's gift to me and their other fans-- STRYPER is God's ministry through Robert, Tim, Oz, and Michael, their crew, their families. When the band is successful, the people in and around the band prosper and are blessed. I'll be thrilled to see STRYPER live again-- but I'm also thrilled to see the opportunity arise for the ministry and its people to be blessed.

Monday, August 04, 2003

Wheelz Life Notes Is Grey today!!!

doesn't seem to be healthy today-- that's my template etc. If it doesn't heal up by tomorrow, I will have to dig into this and colorize things. Meantime.... sorry for the mess!
Char's in her room alone, listening to Michael Sweet's eponymous solo album-- a Cd I introduced her to, an artist she associates with me and my life. I won't deny it-- I feel like the music is a hug from her to me. It's surprizing how much that reflection of my own influence means-- I feel like a baloon floating on it.

Friday, August 01, 2003

New Cool.

I've been analyzing cool lately. Regardless of what the TV-Land types think, it's always been a relative concept to me. I never wanted to be popular; I like nerds and geeks best. But I have my own definition of cool, and can decide whether you've got it in seconds. Lately, though, I find myself getting caught between my cool and my brain sometimes.
For example, I'm starting to like uncool music. eminem rates uncool for violence and profanity, but he tagged me with "Lose Yourself." And Given the number of verbal bile-rockets I've launched at Britney for being more product than prodigy, Avril Lavigne should rate uncool for glibly professing to know nothing much about music; but 'Complicated' and 'Losing Grip' stopped me.
By itself, this isn't too disturbing-- I didn't get into Motley Crue and Ozzy until after the rest of the world forgot them. (Pre-reality TV.) It does bother me when I find myself deciding whether to admit that I like these new songs. I've been saying since junior high that I like being different from the crowd-- but it's hard to be comfortable being different from myself.

Thursday, July 31, 2003

Playing with pictures today... The one here is a 4-generation picture taken on Christmas eve 1988, right after my daughter was born. My wondrous Gram passed away this year, and this picture was her idea. If you know what's good for you, get with your Gram and Pap for some pics. They are precious!

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

OK so I've been a pathetically unreliable blogger. Ah!! Now that that's been said, i think I'll just jump right back in and pretend nothing ever happened. (Rather like the whole intelligence/WMD/president debacle, I'm afraid. I do love and appreciate Pres. Bush, but, erm... well-- its embarrassing!)