Monday, March 31, 2008

In Which Your Faithful Narrator Winces at the Following Sentence: "Put This Medicinal Cream into Your Cat's Eye Twice a Day for Ten Days"

I took one of my cats to the vet today: Woody. He's about five or six years old, grey, and he must have some persian in him. He is shaped a bit like a square. He is short and squat, long haired, with a long bushy tail. His tail, in truth reminds me of a duster.

I took him to the vet today because yesterday I noticed his left eye was very teary and when he looked at me he would close his eye like it hurt. So, we took him this afternoon to make sure he was okay and to get his shots. He hadn't had his shots in a while. It turns out he has pink eye. Of course I was immediately worried that it would go from Woody to my other cat, Emma. But the vet told us that pink eye isn't usualy contagious between cats. That's good news for this simple reason: I've got to put a medicinal cream into his eye. Woody doesn't take kindly to medicine, period, let alone medicinal cream to the eyeball. The best part about all of it is this: I get to do it twice a day for ten days. Im so thriled I could spit.

Dad's Daily Journal

My dad used to keep a daily journal. Matter of fact, he kept it for 58 years. And when I say daily I mean it, literally. There are twelve letter boxes and two magazine boxes full of his journals. He started writing them when he was about 12 or so. He always told me that he had been inspired to keep a journal by Archie, the comic, I don't remember if he said he had seen it in a Sunday comic or if he had heard about it in a weekly Archie radio broadcast. Either way, he started a journal.

The first journals are written in little pocket notebooks. They aren't much more than a few lines about this and that. As he got older he graduated to regular sized notebooks. His college years are chronicled in Brooklyn College notebooks. Eventually, he graduated still further into five subject, spiral bound, college ruled notebooks. He wrote on the front and back of each page.

His journal changed over time. When he was in high school and college, he would clip out newspaper articles about news and current affairs and paste them into his journals. By the time college rolled around he wasn't doing that so much, though from time to time, there are pictures pasted in.

He also took pictures, lots of pictures. He always had a camera around his neck. After he graduated from college and seminary, he went back and typed up his journals, put pictures with the words and made some really nice scrapbooks. Those scrapbooks go from his first semester of college in in 1954 to just about the time he moved the Lyndhurst, New Jersey in the late '60's. There are thirteen of them. One summer, when I was in high school, I read these journal/scrapbooks. It was truly a fascinating thing to do. I learned a lot about my father, but also about his family and friends. It was quite a lot of fun.

At the end of every year, he would write up a "year end epilogue." A few years back, I asked him if he'd type up his year end epilogues for me so that I could read them. His handwriting was never very good, neither is mine, I like to think that handwriting is hereditary, which, to some degree, I'm sure it is. He started to type up the epilogues. Somewhere along the line, he and my mom decided to make it into a bigger project. They would take pictures from our photo albums and "illustrate" the year end epilogues. He would type up the epilogues and then start going through photo albums to put the pictures to the words, a la his college photo albums, except these were put into clear plastic sheets and the into three ring binders. There are, I think, about seven or eight of them so far and they only got up to the 90's I think before my dad got sick.

So the project continues. I have been typing his last year-end epilogue, 2007. Its been slow going because I've had to stop often and decypher his handwriting, but it has been an enjoyable experience. For a while, I've thought about posting his year end reviews here on blogger, but I'm not sure if that is a good idea. Many of the people who appear in his journals are still alive and some our still in ministery. That's the main thing. He had some rough times during his ministry that he wrote about. As a matter of fact, he went to a counselor to make sure he was really suited to be a minister because it got so bad. According to my mom, after taking a battery of tests he was informed that he was very suited to the ministry and should stay in it. He told the counselor about his journal and the counselor told my dad that the journal was the thing that probably kept him sane and on an even keel. He was able to write it out and get all his hurt and anger out of his system by putting it on the page.

As he typed up his epilogues he dredged up some of the unpleasant experiences he had in his ministry and it actually affected his mood and his sleep patterns. Both my mom and I couldn't wait until he got through those times. After he got through those years, from about 1979-1986, or so, his mood lightened and he became a much happier person.

The journals are the greatest gift my father left for me. That and the tape recordings he made of dinners and phone conversations over the years. He may be gone from here, but he certainly is here with my mother and I.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

In Which Your Faithful Narrator Discusses His "Vice"

i have a vice. its not really a vice, per se, i guess. a vice, in general definition usually means something really bad like, i don't know-- drug abuse, alcoholism, etc, etc. no, my "vice" (note the quotes) is Criterion DVDs. to discover what criterion dvds are feel free to check out their website. these dvds tend to be expensive, okay, they are expensive. not prohibitively expensive, but they certainly do put a wallop on my wallet. please note, i don't pay full price for them, it is because of my addction to criterion dvds that i bought my very own bn membership card. (this is not an ad, so please don't get mad at me-- full disclosure: i work for BN). i did the math one day and decided that it was a good idea to get said card and use coupons they send me to get said dvds, it has been, for the most part a good idea. that is except for one small thing: i buy the dvds. i know in the back of my mind that i should just netflix them (i have a netflix account, the greatest thing ever, by the way), but like a good addict i must have them. and i do. i have a whole shelf full, double stacked. its a thing of beauty and im very proud of my small (but growing) criterion collection.

i don't just buy them impulsively, okay, maybe once in a while. though, a good many are "blind bought," that is i buy them without seeing them or knowing much about them first. oh, i do research them. i read reviews and try and find out something about them (that's where the internet movie database-- comes in handy). and i do, sometimes, rent them from netflix. if the reviews sound okay, but i'm still not sure about them, that's when i rent them. when i was workig on my masters i had a friend who shared my love of crits and we trade them back and forth, i generally don't do that mainly because they are too expensive and i'm afraid they'll get lost, stolen, or ruined. but i figured if i had one of his hostage he'd take care of mine, he did and took care of his.

i do have a couple favorites that i like to watch over and over (Spirit of the Beehive being one of them, Kicking and Screaming -- not the will farrell one-- being another). they are all excellent and all well done.

i have approximately 60 criterions. and i'd be lying if i'd said i'd watched them all. i haven't, i have watched some of all them, but not all of them all the way through. each movie tends to have a bunch of extras (that's the main reason i got hooked on them, the extras rock). and i'd be lying again if i said i'd seen all the extras for all the movies, i haven't, not even close. some of the movies i bought because they sounded good. some i'd seen before.

i've been trying to get through the movie 8 1/2 by fredrico fellini. its not a bad movie, actually its quite good. i started watching it the other night, but i feel asleep, you've read that entry and the hilarity that ensued from that whole escaped. i watched some more of it during the day, but i kept getting distracted or called away. i'm almost done with it. its a tad weird, but not overly over the top. at times it is dream like which is alright.

i've discovered that i don't mind reading movies. this is a good thing, particularly since at least half of my crits are foriegn films: french, italian, japanese (mainly). i've learned alot about movies/films since i started watching criterion dvds. i've started watching movies in general differently than i used to. for example i pay attention to camera work, or cuts, or how soundtrack pushes scene along. in short, criterion has mad me more critical and able to watch movies with a keener eye. granted, this can take some of the enjoyment out of a movie because i'm too busy analyzing what i'm watching, but that's okay.

so, i guess i have to ask myself this: why am i typing here when i have a criterion to watch.

*republished from

Friday, March 21, 2008

In Which Your Faithful Narrator Muses About Things

The NCAA Basketball Tourney is full swing. Brackets have been filled (not by me, mind you, but others) and Bob Knight has been given a bully pulpit on ESPN. I guess everything is right with the world. Unless of course, you've been talking to the uber-Lutherans who are in an uproar over the cancellation of a radio program called Issues, that I've one, never heard of and two, never heard.

My mother and I are adjusting to life without my father. It is still a weird feeling. Not only did my father die, but also my pastor. My father was my pastor. He was a pastor, yes, and I was a pastor's kid, that's true, too. But there is something more to it than that. He was my pastor for the first 24 years of my life. I got my gospel meal from him every Sunday, I could ask him about theological questions I might have. He never really stopped being my pastor, but when we moved to Texas he became a chaplain for Bethesda so he didn't preach every Sunday.

I've been thinking a lot about what he might be experiencing and granted, I can't even begin to imagine what he is a part of, The Glory. I wonder, if everything gets "ramped up" in Heaven during Holy Week. The celebration must be intense. I'm talking weirdly because I can't put into words what I think. Actually, that's part of the problem. What my father is experiencing now is something I can't experience with him, at least not now and I have a certain amount of jealousy over that. Is that weird? Probably.

I had a rough time this past weekend. It was the first month anniversary of my father's death and it really worked me over. I went to the mall for the first time on the 16th and it was a tough experience. My dad would take a walk around the mall a couple times a week for exercise and I go with him from time to time. We'd figure out what time we were going to meet and then I'd mosey off and do some window shopping, etc, but then I'd double back and make sure he was doing okay. When I was in the mall on Sunday I kept "seeing"him and his stoop-shouldered walk. It really got to me. I made it a point not to by the bench we would meet at, I just didn't think I could do that. Again, probably a bit weird, but the grief and mourning thing certainly has no rules.

We haven't really started going through stuff, yet. His books are pretty much the way they were left on Jan. 18th. I'll get to that, soon. I can't keep all of them. As much as I'd like to, I can't. We are going to take his clothes and vestments to Ft. Wayne and donate them. I'm sure there is some seminarian who could use his vestments. So long as said seminarian is roughly 5 foot 8 and about 180 lbs. We need to get his vestments and stoles dry cleaned first, that will be happening soon. Once Spring really kicks in for good.

Speaking of Spring, I believe it has finally arrived and for that, I am excited.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

In Which Your Faithful Narrator Takes Pictures, Though Not as Good As 3rd Werst, but Pics None the Less

smalles car ever I saw this car today in the parking lot outside of the law school. I literally did a double take. The first thing I thought was "that car automatically loses against an SUV." What am I saying? It would probably lose against my Cobalt. Though, at the same time, I thought it kind of cool. I have a little toy car somewhere that I've had for years. I mean absolutely years, its probably 20 years old, if not older. I remember I got it in a Happy Meal when I was a kid. Any way the car in the picture reminds me of the toy car. You can put a penny in the back of the car and it does wheelies as it zooms around the room. I thought of maybe sticking a 50 lb weight on the back of the car and seeing what happened, but instead I just took the picture. It seems like a good car to do basic running around in in the city, but I would be a little afraid of taking something like that out on the highway. Imagine the back draft on an 18 wheeler... yikes.


Emma and Woody just kind of hanging out on the couch. They often sleep near each other when napping.

on her perch

Emma loves her perch. She sits there and smacks the little toy we have hanging from the desk drawer. She goes absolutely bananas over it. She mews at it, yells at it, and then smacks it around. Its great fun to watch.

Friday, March 07, 2008

In Which Your Faithful Narrator Discusses Things

I've had a cold for the last two days and it has been a rather unpleasant experience. Its that "gunk," for lack of a better word, that has been going around. Luckily, it isn't the flu (I got my flu shot this fall). I've got a stuffy head, plugged up ears, and a sore nose from blowing.

My current condition on the health front made for an interesting day. I had a job interview for an "adult services librarian" position. It was the first of at least two that I'll have to go through. This first one was a "getting to know you" interview. Basically, I guess, it was the whittling down part of the process. I haven't really done something like that before. Now, I have to wait for a call back. I also have to fill out an official application for employment.

The library I had my interview is about two, maybe three, miles from my home. Its in the same county as I live, but I can't check books or other materials out of it. It has something to do with taxes. I was asked if I used the library very often and I was honest and said that I hadn't been there but two or three times because I wasn't able to check things out. My interviewer, Marge, understood.

I also have another interview at the big library downtown next week. And I have also applied for another job at the law library I work, this one is a full time position as opposed to the little parttime gig I have now.

I got my masters in Library Science in August. I applied for a couple positions, but I didn't get too excited about them. I wanted to actually have the degree in hand before I started looking for a job-- call it superstition, I don't know. Then the holidays came around and I felt guilty about looking for a job at that time of year since I work retail. I also wasn't too keen on trying to fit interviews in with my busy schedule. So, I took that two months off. Then my father got sick and I had to put my job search on hold, again.

When I was in confirmation we talked about prayer. My father always said that God answers all prayers, just not always the way we want them to be answered. He said God had three basic answers: Yes, No, and wait. When I was looking for a job and sending my resume out to libraries I got interviews, but I never got the jobs. I was disappointed and frustrated, but never angry. There always seemed to be a little voice somewhere telling me that it was okay and not to worry. I look back on the last two months, or so and I can see that that little voice was right. If I had gotten a new job before my father got sick I probably would not have been able to get the time off I needed to take care of things that needed to be taken care of. I might have, but maybe not.

So, looking back, I'm able to see God's plan in action. This helps me now. With my father's death, I'm able to look for jobs again. That probably sounds horrible, but I think you understand what I'm saying.

So, I'll hack my way through the weekend and continue to pray for God's guidance. Its going to be okay. That, I'm sure of.