Sunday, August 24, 2008

Stopped, Rested

I was sick most of the day today. I woke up throwing up and headachie. It honestly sucked. I called off from work from the bookstore and I have a feeling that was a not a very good idea. i'm sure the bossman wasn't happy. I could hear it in the long silence as I told him I wasn't coming in. I slept most of the morning. I've been pulling about 50 hours a week of work the last three weeks, I guess. Today, because I called off was my first day off since I started working in the library. I was trying to balance both jobs, but working seven days a week just doesn't cut it. Maybe I'm a wuss, that could very well be, but I've learned through my life that when my body says "stop, rest" I stop and rest. I just wish it hadn't been such a violent "stop-rest," but I guess that's the only way I'll stop & rest.

It felt good to just kind putter around the house doing this and that, but it got a bit old. By five o'clock I was ready to get out and do something. I should have mowed the lawn, but I didn't. That'll get done this week. Tomorrow or Tuesday.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Genuine Smile

This is the last picture of my father in his pastoral robes. He is second from the left in the front row. That smile is genuine. He genuinely loved being a pastor and loved ministry.

He passed away six months ago last Sunday. Its hard for me to believe that a half of a year has gone by so quickly. My mother and I are doing well. We both miss him, but together we have worked through the sadness; there wasn't much of that, though. No, we both believed, nay, knew that he was with his Lord. And we both took so much comfort in that. We knew that if he had survived and been sent to a nursing home, or even sent home, he would have been unhappy with the quality of life.

We first saw the picture in the new church diretory. We were both a little surprised by it. It was a bit of shock to sit in the pew that Sunday morning we first got it, flip through the pages of the directory and there with a huge smile on his face is my father, doing what he loved most: pastoral ministry.

That smile is symbolic, too. For all Christians. I am sure that my father has that smile on right now in heaven. He is at peace and in the Church Triumphant. That smile, though, is the key to it all, at least for me. Its just another one of those little gifts that my dad gave my mom and I. That smile, the big toothy, happy smile.

That smile is a result of a life-long faith that never wavered. It was tested, I'm sure, but that faith always came out of the forge stronger. About a week or so before he died he had been listening to Coach Tony Dungy's book Quiet Strength. In that book Coach wrote that his mantra was simply "do what we do," he used that mantra to get his team the Indianapolis Colts into the proper frame of mind and to keep focus. One day, my mom and I walked into his room and he looked at us, smiled and said "Do what we do." I think he had somewhat reconciled himself to the fact that he might not be coming home, that he might be going to a nursing home, at least for a while, but he looked at it as another form of ministry. Do what we do.

The Lord called him on Feb. 17, 2008. My father did what he did and he touched many people with his ministry and love. That smile that beams from a picture is the result of that ministry and his Doing what he did.

Peace, dad, and thanks for that smile.

Monday, August 18, 2008

This'll be Fun

The semester starts on Wednesday. As is my new custom, I took a walk over to the new regally named Campus Center after I finished my lunch. The place is a wash with new students. The Barnes & Noble college bookstore is making money hand over fist. It was kind of cute to see students walking about heavy laden with thick tomed textbooks in the crock of their elbow, spilling down to their knees. A mental smile bloomed across my mental lobe as I said to myself "They'll read them for the first two weeks, they're lucky and they'll end up in the corner gathering dust and then, at the end of the semester they'll try and sell them back and be sorely disappointed when they get peanuts..." Ah, college life.

We have started to get an uptick in questions dealing with logging on the computer, trying to get something printed, how to check books out of the library, etc, etc, etc.

Yes, this'll be an interesting experience. Can't hardly wait.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

When Three are Needed, But One'll Do

Not much happens in Indianapolis. I think that's part of the reason that Indianapolis is often called Indian-no-place. So be it. It seems, though, at this hour something is happening. I was outside munching my lunch when I realized that there were multiple helicopters hovering in place just to the south of where I was sitting. I didn't think much of it and returned to my lunch and my book. A few minutes later I realized that said helicopters were still hovering in place; so, I closed my book, walked into the library, logged on to a computer and checked on of the local television station webpages. It seems that there are three window washers dangling from the 28th floor of a bank building. Their platform broke from beneath them, but they were strapped in somehow so as the platform fell, they commenced to dangle. This event, a seminal event, I'm sure requires three, not one, but three helicopters.

We all know why they are there, right? Yes, it would be nice for the poor fellows to be rescued and that would be a nice little story, but the I bet somewhere in a dark newsroom that we don't want to know about some news director is hoping, secretly mind you, that well they aren't rescued. That would be copy! Friends, that might get on NBC national news or something... but don't let my cynicism in the media get in the way.

Breaking News!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

my surface is myself under which to witness youth is buried

Keywords. Search terms. Databases. More training today. Each librarian in this library has been given 30 minutes to clue me and the G.A.'s how the various databases in their respective "area of expertise" works. Training, like meetings, makes my eyes roll around in my head. I know its important, but you can show me how to do something a hundred times and I won't remember it, let me play with it and I'll get it, eventually.

The above title? A keyword string that found this blog. Yeah, I don't get it either.

Monday, August 11, 2008


August eighth would have been my parents' thirty-seventh wedding anniversary. With the summer Olympics in full swing I have heard some interesting things about Chinese numerology and their belief that the number eight is the most lucky numer there is.

My parents were married on August 8, 1971, 8/8/8 (that is if you add 7+1). They were blessed many times through course of their marriage and I'd say that they were fairly "lucky," if you put much stock in numerological things. When my dad had realized that the Olympic opening would be on 8/8/08 he became very excited and had, according to my mom, said that instead of going out to eat to celebrate their anniversary we would have to have chinese food and watch the opening ceremonies on TV. Well, my mom and I were planning just that, but some friends of ours from Accident blew through on their way home to Illinois so we instead ate at Pizzeria Uno's and had pizza, but we were able to watch the opening ceremony at home later that evening.

As I went through my father's things I found two large plastic boxes; he had saved old sermons that he had preached and, if the opportunity arose and he had a chance to preach a vacation Sunday, or even a vacancy, he would go to the box and pull out an old sermon, freshen it up a bit and preach it on Sunday. I looked through the boxes the other night. I could kind of hear my dad's been-out-of-Brooklyn-for-over-forty-years Brooklyn accent. It was interesting to see his little oration marks that he used: a slash here, a hyphen there. I assume they were marks for breathing and pacing, but I don't know for sure.

We are pretty much done going through dad's things. We have gotten rid of somethings and kept somethings. We have donated some stuff and sold other stuff. There are some pastors in Sri Lanka that are wearing his old clercals and there is a newly minted pastor in Pennsylvania wearing some of his stoals and there is a newly started seminarian using one his albs. In short, my mom and I have tried to continue his ministry the best we can.

These two pictures I have posted are from the last family vacation we took two summers ago when we went to Ohio to visit some Presidential homes. I am particularly fond of the first one. There is something about how they are walking together that really seems to capture their relationship: walking together down a path. It brings a smile to my face and puts a little lump in my throat.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

My Life is a Tati Movie

A few weeks ago, on our way home from Western Maryland, my mom and I stopped at the Barnes & Noble in Morgantown, West Virginia (it is one of my favorite BN's ever, I'm not really sure why, but I really do enjoy stopping there). while I was there, I bought the new Criterion release of Jacques Tati's film Trafic. Tati was a French comedic actor and movie directory. His movies include M. Hulot's Holiday, Mon Oncle, and Playtime. Each film in its own way is funny and thought provoking, though, at times, slapsticky, but that is neither here nor there. As a matter of fact, I think it is because each of those films is humorous and slapsticky that they seem to stick in my head, particularly Playtime and now, it appears, Trafic.

Playtime and Trafic are in their own humorous ways "message movies." They both speak to modernity and how it affects (and will affect) humans. It is something to behold these two color movies and realize how stark they really are. Today I realized that my life seems to have taken a bit of a left turn into the land of Tati. I don't mean that in a bad way, though.

Trafic deals with, you guessed it, traffic in general and automobile traffic in particular. Here is a basic synopsis of Trafic. Since viewing this film I have started looking at my commute to work in a different light. A more humorous light, to be sure, but a different light. It has been funny to be at stop lights and to see people doing exactly what he made light of in his film: singing loudly, picking their nose, primping themselves, etc. Also, the sheer idiocy of sitting in traffic waiting for a light to green so I can go less than a quarter of mile before I stop again (yes, there is a certain amount of Office Space in the whole affair, too).

In the morning, when I'm going to work, it takes me approximately 30 minutes to get there. If I leave at 8 am, I will be there sometime between 830 and 845. However, when I leave to go home, it takes me almost a full hour to go the exact same distance. I left at 5 pm this afternoon, by the time I got the gym which is on the way home it quite nearly 6 pm, maybe a little later. I truly had to chuckle when I was stuck in the middle of an intersection because of a tie up at the next traffic light. I wasn't going any where. And this is Indianapolis for crying outloud!

Today at work I had some training. Part of the training was a tour of the library which consisted of going into offices one usually doesn't get to see. I was traipsed through tech services which is in the bowels of the library, well lit bowels, but the bowels all the same. I was wishing I'd had my camera so I could take pictures, but I didn't and even if I had had my camera I doubt I would of taken any pictures because that might of been rude.

Tech Services, aka cataloging, is in a huge room on the first floor of the library; a massive room that had offices along the walls and cubicles in the middle. Each section of tech services had its own area: Interlibrary Loans, perodicals, digital library, etc. Each section's employees desk were inside their cubicle walls. In fact, one of the employees had a Batman fetish. You should of seen his collection of Batman paraphenalia in his cupicle. I had a sudden urge to move things around and see if he noticed, but I decided against it. This long digression is leading somewhere, I think.

Any way, as we walked through tech services, I kept expecting Tati's alterego Hulot to come bumbling by in his slouched hat and trenchcoat. As we walked through techservices, I felt a bit like a rat in a maze. Or, like Hulot befuddled by modern Paris. It was a weird sensation. And stranger still, I felt an odd pull towards the techservices, like I almost wanted to join them. As a matter of fact, I hope to someday work in techservices for a while, just to try it and see how I'd like it.

Now, though, I'll just have to learn to speak French and I'll be good to go for the next Tati film! (Maintenant, bien que, I' ; le ll juste doivent apprendre à parler le français et l'I' ; il soit bon aller ll pour le prochain film de Tati !)


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Story By Pictures

The Interloper, aka Barnsey

The Muscle, the Bouncer, aka Emma

You wanna piece of me? Well, do you?

Its go time!

That was a warning, bub.

Friday, August 01, 2008

"So busy being a gangster, I don't know which one is real"

Watching Asian gangster movies is fun. They are so much more fun than American gangster movies. American gangster movies have this thing called plot. This thing called plot can often get in the way of the good old fashioned gunplay and lord knows we need more gunplay in the gangster movies. I am, at present, watching Hardboiled. The great John Woo film; it was his last before he came to America to make films like the Replacement Killers and Mission Impossible II. The Replacement Killers being the better of the two.

Last night I watched the movie The Killers, again by John Woo. The cool thing about Asian gangster movies is this: they don't reload. Ever. They just shoot and shoot and shoot and nary a once do they reload. I dare you watch an Asian gangers film and see them reload. I think that's in the rule book for Asian gangster film: rule 1: no reloading.

The first time I ever saw an Asian gangster movie was in college. There wer two Vietnamese dudes that lived down the hall from me. They would sit around, eat noodles and watch gangster movies. I don't think they did much else than that. Well, from time to time they would through in some porno flick, but they usually did the Asian gangster film. It was always fun to watch the AGF with them for a couple reasons. The first was they would chatter back and forth at each other in Vietnamese. I wasn't quite sure if they were talkinga bout the movie or me, but that didn't matter. The second was that I learned some Vietnamese. I learned two words. One word was "Gongat" and the other was "Dumbwah." Now this being a family friendly blog I really can't translate them, but let's just say that they are swear words that do in fact get to the heart of the matter when something really cool or awsome happens on the screen.

THe other thing that is cool about the AGF is this: the music. It reall does work well, it gets the point across. In Hardboiled its a combination of Jazz, native music and techno. Its a weird auditory stew.

Oh, gotta go. Gunplay!