Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Back to the cemetery. The town cemetary is a big one. I'm not sure how many acres, but its a good sized plot of ground. It is your typical town cemetery. On the biggest hill, right by the road, under some big, stately pine trees is the Vietnam dead. In the older part, behind some old, white washed cannon lay the WWI vets. The WWII vets are somewhere, but I'm not sure they have their own section.
Its a bit creepy to drive by the cemetery at night. Many of the gravestones have small flickering eternal lights that glow white. It is particularly eerie on a very clear and cold night-- yeah, its been very creepy the last few weeks.
There is still snow on the ground, but it has started to melt somewhat, finally, so now there are islands of brown grass showing through the quickly receeding snow. Pretty soon the tables will be turned and the snow will turn into the islands.
For some reason, as I drove by that cemetery this afternoon I was struck by a feeling of peace. It just looked so peaceful over there. I think its because of a conversation I had with a customer at the bookstore a few weeks ago, its a conversation that I have been mulling over recently, that made experience that peaceful feeling.
This woman came up to me at the store and asked for books about immortality. There were two that she was particularly interested in. I can't, for the life of me, remember what they were titled, but we had them. As we were walking to the section I jokingly said I had no desire to be immortal. She was a bit taken aback. She didn't understand why I'd say something like that; she wasn't offended, but abit surprised. I had tried to be funny about it, but the more we talked the more adament I became about not wanting to be immortal. It got to the point that I felt like saying, "shoot, I'm willing to go right now!" But that thought was quickly nipped in the bud because its not quite right, either.
After she left I started to think about the whole death and life thing. It kind of receeded into the background of mental noise I have clanging about in my brainpan for a few weeks until yesterday and today, yesterday being the day another year flips over in my life, and today being the cemetery day, so to speak.
I came to a couple decisions about death that feel really good in my heart. The first is simply this: I don't fear death. My parents were instrumental in this fact. They raised me in the Christian faith. A Christian Faith that tells me that I will be in Heaven when I die and enjoy eternal life because of my faith and belief in Jesus Christ. Another reason why I don't fear death is that I have scene it up close. I don't mean I've seen murder committed or anything like that, but I have had the opportunity to see the whole process of death. By process I don't mean actually watching someone die, i.e. a sick person finally succomming.
When I was small, right after my paternal grandfather died, my parents took me to a funderal home on Long Island. My father talked to the funeral director and we were allowed to go into a viewing room. I remember the man I saw. He was an older gentleman, he white hair, he was wearing a lightish blue suit, white shirt and tie. He had been a veteran because the triangled flag was inside his coffin. He lay there looking peaceful. My parents took me there so that I could see what a dead body looked like. My grandfather's wish was that I not come to the funeral or see him in his coffin, my parents honored that wish, but they felt it was important that I see what a dead body looked like. The man looked like he was sleeping in a cushy box. It wasn't scary in the least.
A few years later we moved to a rural area in Maryland. There was a farmer across the street who had dairy cattle. Sometimes a cow would die and he would dispose of the body by dragging it to a ravine in some nearby woods. I would take what I called "field trips" and see how the cow was decomposing. It probably sounds sick, but I wasn't going with that mind set. I was going for the simple biological curiosity. Again, it wasn't scary, I was able to see how nature cleaned itself up: From dust to dust.
I have thought about death in relation to me. I know that someday I will die. I know that some day my parents will die. Its part of life. A phrase I heard one time: "Birth, its terminal." I had to laugh when I heard that.
Another thing I decided was I really don't want to be immortal. Last week, on NPR, I heard about these folks who are bound and deteremined to find medicines that will keep them alive for a very long time and they are convinced that they will find them and they will live for hundreds of years, like we read about in the Old Testement. I have no desire to live 900 years. Really, I don't. I'll be happy with my 75 or whatever I am given. I don't want 900. I'm not even sure I want a 100.
So, I'm living my dash, that is the dash between birth and death. Someone once said to me whe they had a birthday they smiled a little because they lived through "death day" for another year. That was another thing that struck me as unshakably true.
I think I have a healthy attitude about death. I'm looking to die any time soon, but I'm not afraid of it. It will come and through my faith I'll be ready. And for that I am most thankful.
2-Seven Samurai (reissue)
3-Lady Vanishes (reissue)
7-A Night to Remember
11-Seventh Seal (Reissue)
24-High and Low (Reissue)
29-Picnic at Hanging Rock
35- Diabolique (Reissue)
37- Time Bandits
38-Branded to Kill
44- Red Shoes
54-For All Mankind (reissue)
56-The 39 Steps
63-Carnival of Souls
64-The Third Man (reissue)
97-Do the Right Thing
110-M. Hulot's Holiday
118- Sullivan's Travels
131-Closely Watched Trains
157-The Royal Tenenbaums
174-Band of Outsiders
175-Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
176- The Killers
185-Five Films by Francois Truffaut
187--Bed and Board
188--Love on the Run)
196-Hiroshima Mon Amour (reissue)
197-Night and Fog
The Rules of the Game
234-Tin Drum (reissue)
249-The Battle of Algiers
250-John Cassavetes: Five Films
253-A Woman Under the Influence
254-Killing of a Chinese Bookie
268-Youth of the Beast
288-F for Fake
289- Hoop Dreams
319-The Bad Sleep Well
334-Harlan County, USA
335-Elevator to the Gallows
336-Dazed and Confused
349-Kicking and Screaming
351-The Spirit of the Beehive
378-Fires on the Plain
379-The Burmese Harp
384-Vengance is Mine
396-Ace in the Hole
409-Days of Heaven
414--Two Lane Blacktop
441- The Small Back Room
450- Bottle Rocket
452- The Spy Who Came in From the Cold
475-The Friends of Eddie Coyle
490-Wings of Desire
500- Roberto Rossellini's War Trilogy
(497- Rome Open City
499-Germany Year Zero)
505-Make Way for Tomorrow
523-Night Train to Munich
540-The Darjeeling Limited
541-The Night of the Hunter
543- Modern Times
America Lost and Found: The BBS Story
546-Five Easy Pieces
547-Drive, He Said
548-A Safe Place
549-The Last Picture Show
550-THe King of Marvin Gardens
555- Sweet Smell of Success
562- Blow Out
565- The Great Dictator
591-12 Angry Men
599-Vanya on 42nd Street
600- Anatomy of a Murder
608- Harold and Maude
619- Le Havre
625- Eating Raoul
647- On the Waterfront
649- Ministry of Fear
654- Repo Man
670- To Be or Not to Be
671- La Cage Aux Folles
704- Riot in Cell Block 11
721- Love Streams
733- La Dolce Vita
736- It Happened One Night
748- Watership Down
764- Fisher King
765- The Black Stallion
Paddle to the Sea
The Red Balloon
ASH WEDNESDAY, February 27, 1974
Clear and cold
This was our red letter day, At 7:43 this evening, Carolyn gave birth to an 8 pound, 8 ounce baby boy, who was 21 inches long. His name is Karl. Thanks and praise to God, mother and child are doing fine.
The process of bringing Karl into the world took the whole day. When we awoke this morning at 7:00, Carolyn said that she had been having abdominal pains for some time at regular 20 minute intervals. She called the doctor and he told her to call back at 8:00 old her call back at 8:oo. Carolyn then went to take a shower and I got dressed. She called the doctor back at 8:00 and w as told to come right to the hospital. We left immediately, without pausing to have breakfast. Carolyn couldn’t have eaten anyway. One of the things we heard repeatedly at the expectant parent classes was that the mother was to be showered, and .arrive at the hospital with an empty stomach.
We followed Route 17, S. Summit Ave. route to the hospital. We parked the car in the hospital parking lot and walked the short distance to the lobby of the St. John building. Carolyn was quickly admitted to the hospital. They asked her to sit in a wheel chair and then took to an elevator. I was told to wait in the lobby. They would let me know when I could join Carolyn upstairs. They told me I would have time to go to the snack shop for breakfast which, I did.
It was a little after 10:00 when I was able to take the elevator to the third floor and go to room “D” in the labor area and be with Carolyn. There was precious little I could do except sit there and give Carolyn and give Carolyn some moral support. The pain came fast at 6 minute intervals. The pains were severe and then at two and three minutes. The pains were severe and Carolyn uncomfortable most of the day. The nurse’s doctors were in and out during the day to examine Carolyn or to give her medication to ease her discomfort to ease her discomfort. They explained they couldn’t give her very much medicine because whatever was given her was also given to the baby. Around 1:30 I went to the snack shop and had lunch and then when I returned to the room the nurses said that they had just given Carolyn a sensitive. The nurses thought it might be better if I left rather than staying. I followed her advice. I returned home to complete preparations for the evening service. I hated not being at the hospital when the baby was born. As soon as I got home I phoned Luther College to ask Phil Worthington if he could possibly take this evening’s service for me. He was not in is office when I called but returned the call a little later. I had sent the evening looking through my Alcester sermons to use one for this evening in the event that I would have to preach. When Phil. Called back he said that he would be happy to help me out this evening. I thanked him and told him what I had planned to do at this evening’s service. After speaking with Pastor Worthington I phoned John Whitehead to tell him what was going on. I then set up the equipment that would be needed for the evening’s service and then headed back to be with Carolyn in the hospital.
As the time drew near for the baby to be born Carolyn’s discomfort was increasing. About an hour or so after I returned to the hospital, the doctor’s told me that the time ad come for me to go to the lobby and wait for news. It was a little after 7:00 when I began the lobby vigil. I sat and walked and watched the second hand on the clock creep around the clock Around 7:40 I called St. Matthews o speak with Pastor Worthington to make sure that he had everything he needed for the service. He assured me that he did and said that Carolyn and I had all of their prayers and best wishes. I thanked and then returned to the couch in the lobby. The lobby area was closed by now. I saw no one except an occasional cleaning woman, I was alone.
Around 8:30 one of the women in the registration office called my name and said I could go to the third floor. When I stepped from the elevator Dr. Palsy greeted me congratulations say saying I was the father of a son: 8 lbs. 8 ounces. He assured me that Carolyn was fine. He said that the Karl had a birth on his abdomen which would be no problem. He said that the baby might have a small hernia on either side of the crotch but later said that could be wrong and so what they thought were hernia-might just be the undecided testis. The pediatrician would know better tomorrow. In any case there was no cause for anxiety. He then invited me to see our son. I was surprised at how big he was. He was lively and cute. The nurse opened the diaper to show me the birthmark. Karl has a cute little cleft in his chin. I stared at him in rapturous wonder and then went in the delivery room. I told Carolyn that I thanked God and her for the gift of a son.
Carolyn was feeling much better by now. We chatted for a few minutes ten she rested. I called the church so the news could be relayed to Pastor Worthington and he in turn could tell the congregation, I then returned to Carolyn and stayed with her until 9:15. Then we agreed that I should return home to make the phone calls to friends and relatives. It was just a little before 10:00 when I returned home. I met several ladies just leaving the fellowship hour following the service. They offered their hearty congratulations. I went the church to get the tape recorder to record the phone calls so Carolyn could hear them. Everyone still at the church the choir members at practice offered their hearty congratulations. I thanked them all and then went home to make the calls. I called, Harold and Dorothy, my folks, Anita and Dennis, The Nerbecks, the Harm, and the Holsts. I tried to call Bob and Drea but they weren’t home. I stopped calling at 10:445. I had late snack and then retired and fell into a deep, restful sleep.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Hoosiers are cautiously optimistic about the weather right now. The deep freeze we had has snapped and the thermometer is sitting upwards around the 45 degree mark. The snow that is covering the ground is quickly recededing into puddles and mud. I saw cautiously optimistic because high school basketball sectionals are just around the corner and, if I have learned anything in my four years living in the land of Hoosier-dom its this: high school sectionals equal ugly icy weather. So, I expect one more go around. Hopefully tempetures won't reach to he nether regions of zero degrees...
The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue came out recently. That's exciting. Not necessarily because of the scantily clad women, wich I'll admit is not necessarily a bad thing, but, more importantly, that means that baseball is right around the corner. I always feel a bit out of sorts between football and baseball season. I'm not what you would call a huge fan of basketball (though I am going to an IU game in Bloomington this evening). I enjoy basketball, but I don't follow it. Basketball is something to "tide" me over till baseball season.
I am reading a couple of books at present. They are the result of one of the classes I'm taking this semester: Seminar on Intellectual Freedom. An interesting class. I am reading the newest Newberry Award winner (see previous post for this) and another book called Manga: Sixty Years of Japanese Comics. Later on in the semester I have to debate with another student as to why or why not this book should be banned from a library, or removed (the more PC term). I believe I have been given the "keep it on the shelf" angle. Another reason I'm reading it is because of what I at work. I am the "fiction lead" or "fiction supervisor" at my store and Manga falls under that heading. In the interest of learning about what I sell, I decided that it would be a good idea to read about it. I've tried to read Manga, but I just can't get it. I don't know why. I figure if I could read Hebrew (please note the past tense on that) I should be able to at least be able to muddle my way through Manga, it reads the same direction, but its not quite that way. So, I leave Manga to the teenagers.
Monday, February 19, 2007
It seems that childrens' librarians and teachers are upset, irked, and generally put out about the whole thing, well, at least some of them are.
The inclusion of the word has shocked some school librarians, who have pledged to ban the book from elementary schools and reopened the deabate about what constitutes acceptable content in childrens' books... the book has already been banned from school libraries in a handful of states in the south, west, and northeast(bold faced, mine). Why? For a word?
I, being who I am, made quick for the shelves at the bookstore and plucked the book in question The Higher Power of Lucky down and commenced to read it immediately, and sure enough, right there on the first page is the offending word "scrotum." I think the word comes up a total of three of four times in the first chapter. Now, as most things that people rail against, the whole thing is taken out of context. Its part of a larger story that the main character, a girl named Lucky, here's while she evesdrops on a conversation going on in an Alcoholics Annonymous meeting.
Today, after work, I stopped by my local library and asked the children's librarian, who I know from one of my classes, if our library was going to carry it. She said they were. When I asked her why, not because I was challenging her, matter of fact, I was quite pleased that the library will be carrying it, she said that 9t was a Newberry Award winner and they carry Newberry Award winning books. I think her exact quote was something to the effect of "It's gotta have some merit to it, right?" And it does.
I haven't read the whole thing yet, but what I have read has been well written and should, if read by the parent and the child elicit some discussion on many a different topic.
Oh, there it is. That's why its being banned. Discussion. Yeah, there it is. Who wants to discuss what a "scrotum" is, or who wants to explain what a "guardian" for a child is, or who wants to talk about "alcoholics annonymous." There it is. That's the problem!
Friday, February 09, 2007
I don't know the whole store, I kind of get sidetracked by the whole astronaut-pampers thing (actually, I just kind of dig writing that phrase for some strange and unknown reason), but it seems went loaded for bear: I believe I read about a knife, some pepper spray, rubber hose, and duct tape. Yeah, she was just going to "talk to her." Suddenly, NASA is "reviewing" their astronaut requirements... they probably need to add the line "no crazy people."
Okay, I can hear some of you hooting about the "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned." Yeah, yeah, I've heard that before, seen it, too. Its an ugly thing particularly when a woman acts out her anger towards another woman. Guys, we just beat each other up, or wrestle around, or just look mean at each other. Women, as a friend mine once said "y'all're vicisious." True dat, true dat.
Oh, and the crazy astronaut lady? She is married and has a couple of baby astronauts at home.
If this had been a movie it would of been a bad comedy. A real bad comedy, but its real life and life always much funnier than bad comedy.
In other news: Anna Nicole Smith died yesterday. Anna Nicole was one of my first teenage, pubescent crushes. She made getting Rolling Stone magazine in high school worth it, particularly when she was in a Guess Jeans ad. She made me happy, but I won't go to far with that because this is a "family friendly" blog.
I walked in from work last night and my dad said that a "famous celebrity" had died. When he said that Anna Nicole Smith had died I might have a been a bit shocked, but not all that surprised. Eventually the train wreck has to come to a stop.
So next week's celebratie gossip mags a la People and Us will be awash with stories purporting to reveal "Nicole's last night..." or "How it happened," or "Who murdered Nicole" (and they can't say OJ... okay, bad joke, horribly out of line... sorry...)
I think I should probably stop now before I get in trouble.
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
yesterday i had an experience that i'll probably never forget. i'm not quite sure how to describe the general feeling around indianapolis since the Colts won the Superbowl this past sunday. i would characterize it as "pride," but not in the bad way. indianapolis just feel good. there is still a sea of blue every where you go. the number 18, peyton manning's number, is probably the most prevalent, no, it is the most prevalent. any where you go you see 18 all over the place. you see a few others, too (88-- harrison, 44-- clark, 23-- freeney, 4-- vinateri, etc etc). i wear number 29 joseph addai, rookie running back.
i work next to dick's sporting goods store. yesterday, about every two hours or so, a fedex truck would roll up to dicks and deliver more superbowl merchandise. this town has gone superbowl mad. i myself have bought two shirts.
now, to last night. there was a parade yesterday for the colts. it was through downtown and was to end at the rca dome. i hemmed and hawed all day trying to decide if i wanted to go. i finally decided i would. i was scheduled until 230 yesterday afternoon. so, i left work and drove downtown, parked my car in the iupui parking lot and decided i'd just follow the crowd. i had a general idea that i'd go to the dome and watch the parade from there. i got to the dome and noticed that it was open and that many people were going in. so, like a good lemming, i followed suit. i'm glad i did. the tempeture here in indy has been hovering in the low teens and just above zero. it has been quite cold. the parade was delayed because of various delays in the flights and also the players changed into warmer clothing. the parad was supposed to start about 430 or so, but didn't get going until much later. i was in the dome by 300 found a good seat and sat. i'd never been in the dome before. it is rather little, hence why the city is building a new stadium, but the sightlines seem to be pretty good. i sat behind the endzone and faced the stage were the team was going to gather for the "rallly." i sat and sat. as did thousands of others. by the time the team got there almost 45,000 fans were in that dome waiting to welcome the team home and explode in cheers. they did both.
this is a picture of the team on the stage. coach dungy is addressing the crowd and to the right of him is the Lombardi Trophy, its hard to see, but if you look closely you'll see a little shiny thing. that's the trophy. you may be able to clik on the pic and see it better.
this picture is the view to my right in the stadium, keep in mind that by the time the team got there the top section was completely full, too.
the sound that 45,000 people make in an enclosed place is amazing. my ears were ringing by the time i left. it was crazy. the place fairly shook. the crowd just exploded when the team rolled in. a chorus of "DUN-GEE, DUN-GEE, DUN-GEE..." rang out when coach dungy got to the podium. the roar of "MVP, MVP, MVP..." filled the stadium when petyon manning got to the mic. the crowd even gave marvin harrison love when he tried to shy away from the mic (he is notoriously shy about talking in public), but he did get up say a few, and i mean a few, words. i couldn't hear what he said though because it was just too damn loud.
it was just an amazing experience. the last pic is of all the fans coming out of the stadium.
Saturday, February 03, 2007
Emma and Woody "discuss" who will be sleeping where on the bed.
Friends again. For awhile.
Me in the Blue. Just a silly picture I took on the spure of the moment. Dig the chapped, split lower lip. The Yoda, the Lutheran Rose, the Luther Window, and the Initech coffee mug. My fingers are covering the "L" in Super Bowl. Its not "super bow," though, to be honest that's kinda funny, too. I think someone forgot to do a grammar check on this bumper sticker, but hey, whatcha gonna do? It was free and the Disgruntled World Citizen digs free. He luuuuurves free.
Thursday, February 01, 2007
The other night I watched the movie A Time for Burning, it is a documentary about two Lutheran Churches in Omaha, Nebraska. One was a white congregation and the other a black congregation. The movie takes place in the late '60's, I think it was around 1967, or so.
The pastor at the white church decides that he would like to open a dialogue between his church and the other church. Here is the description of the movie from The Internet Movie Database:
In the mid-1960s, 1200 White people attend Augustana Lutheran Church in Omaha, Nebraska. Nearby, Negro Lutherans worship at Hope Lutheran Church. Reverend Bill Youngdahl, Augustana's pastor, proposes that ten couples visit ten Negro families from Hope. It's a controversial idea; within weeks, Youngdahl resigns. The camera observes: Augustana parishioners discuss the idea, the social ministry committee meets with Hope leaders, and Hope youth talk about race and religion. Ernie Chambers, a Negro barber, predicts Youngdahl's failure, and Chambers' implacable questions help lead Ray Christensen, an Augustana social ministry member, to a conversion.
I know that for most of my life I had never seen a "black-Lutheran." The first time I had met an black Lutheran was when I attended the Denver Youth Gathering. I ended up rooming with three black kids from Chicago, I think, because my group had an odd number of guys. I didn't mind. They were nice guys, for the life of me I can't remeber their names, though.
I wasn't sure how I would feel about this movie. Its a free flowing movie. There is no narrator so it takes a little while to figure out who the major players are. Thre are three: Rev. Bill Youngdahl, Ray Cristen, and Ernie Chambers.
Ernie Chambers is a black man, who eventually becomes a very powerful senator in the Nebraska Senate. Ray Cristen is the head of the "social ministries" at Augusta Lutheran church. Cristen is an interesting guy. At first he is against the idea completely, but he eventually comes the value of the whole "excercise." Sadly, and this is a spoiler, I apologize, Rev. Youngdahl is removed from his ministry by his congregation of the episode. It is said he isn't a good "fit" for the congregation.
This movie is mainly video of meetings and chats between these three men.
It is an interesting movie, but tough to follow at times. It's a history that many Lutherans might not like to see or be reminded of, sadly, it might even a present that many Lutherans might not like to be reminded of.
A Time for Burning is about an hour long, I'd say its worth an hour of your day or evening. I'd give it an A-.