So, settle down. I’m going to take you on a little journey through time and space. Our destination is a house in a small village in rural Oxfordshire, UK, in the mid-’70s, and it’s a Saturday evening, around five.
There’s a young family, settling down around the TV for a weekly ritual. Mum’s bringing in a tray of food: slivers of toast, some egg mayonnaise or grated cheese to put on them; there are sliced meats, crackers and crisps (chips to you) and a few bits of tomato, celery and cucumber that the children possibly won’t eat. Oh, and some plastic cups of orange squash. They’re preparing for a sofa picnic. They do this every week. It’s time for Doctor Who.
That sounds very much like how my family watched Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman in the 90s…
Sunday evening: Toast, eggs, mayo, & cheese. You build your own sandwich and take it to the couch. Then mom comes around with napkins (because no one bothered to get one on their own). What is it with eggs & toast as a ritual tv-watching meal?
Ferg & I will have to pick a show to do that with our own kids. I’m gonna throw Top Gear or Mythbusters out there as likely choices, since Ferg & I rarely watch the same scripted shows (except for ones that are really really inappropriate for kids).
Of course Doctor Who will happen for my kids at some point too. But that will be special mommy & kiddos time :-)
Presidents on both sides have a lot of victories…and a lot of embarrassments. They have all tried to increase their power. Some of them betrayed their voters. Others just proved that their policies were crap and they ran the country into a ditch.
You would have to have the most wildly swinging political beliefs to vote straight down the party ticket and be happy with your candidate for a century. The Presidents may share a letter after their name, but there is no way two Presidents from opposite ends of the century would agree on much of anything.
Voting isn’t about supporting a color, animal, or party. It’s about being on the right side of history. How many times have you actually voted on the side that accomplished something great, and not just the side that won? If you ask me, every voter in this country should be registered independent.
Incidentally, in blind taste tests, most people (who think they are brand loyal), can’t distinguish Budweiser, Coors and Miller from each other. That’s because, like most political promises, they’re all crap.
"It’s all too easy to forget that there’s a human being on the other end of the Internet. That human being has a name. That human being has friends and family; hopes, fears, and dreams. The person behind those words and that avatar is loved by people, and that person loves them in return."
"what I saw was viewed by a not-insignificant number of participants as a statement against censorship, an affirmative statement for the rights of an individual to express an unpopular opinion. They fully support the rights of same-sex couples to marry, but feel even more passionate about freedom of expression; they weren’t there to support this man’s goals and beliefs, they were simply there to support his right to have them."
"For what it’s worth, I never supported mayors telling a restaurant it couldn’t open in their cities for political reasons — that’s unconstitutional, stupid, and wrong. I believe very strongly in the rights of individuals to express unpopular opinions, but I also believe even more strongly that people who love each other have the fundamental right to marry, and in this case, especially considering the millions and millions of dollars this man has spent trying to deny same-sex couples that right, I hope his unpopular opinion has negative consequences for him and his company. I hope that the incredible number of people who turned out to give him time and money will give an equal amount of time and money at a homeless shelter, or some other organization that desperately needs that time and money to help people who are suffering."
What happened? Weren’t we supposed to have it all? Between Twitter and iPhones and Starbucks and Gap commercials and college degrees, weren’t we supposed to have our best life now? Weren’t all those people who told us at graduation that they would love us forever supposed to, perhaps, show that love in some tangible form?
It’s understandable that jobs, relationships, family and opportunity spring young people in all different directions. But after the parting of ways, shouldn’t friendship be more than a Facebook “Like” after three months of no contact?
In the summer following college, though some friends remained, geography’s cruel conspiracy springs friends in all different directions, and we are left with the waning of texts, emails and the occasional Skype conversation interrupted by lives lived beyond each other. We neglect a long overdue phone call with a friend, and so “Like” their Facebook status instead as proof of closeness. We all know how easy it is to neglect people when we don’t see them anymore, when we actually have to work to connect.
So, what do we do?
We are not now what we thought we would be then, back when we promised to always be there for each other, when we thought we’d always laugh at our secret jokes.
We lean into two hard places our hearts are not naturally inclined to embrace: perspective and grace.
We all haunt someone’s grace limit.
Grey’s Anatomylied, and the people we thought would be our people weren’t always who we had wished they would be. As blogger Carlos Whittaker says, “We all haunt someone’s grace limit.” Though it would be fair to say that we can’t be in the wrong all the time and if we feel slightly abandoned by those we love, there is likely some truth in it, it is also true that there is someone, somewhere we are presently neglecting in our own lives. Someone probably thinks we’re their person and a pretty bad one at that. We stopped calling, we didn’t text back, and while we sit watching reruns and frustrated that our person isn’t calling us back, this someone else is feeling the same about us. Maybe we should take out our phones, roll through the last month of texts and emails, and ask the hard question of if we’ve been Christ to those we did not reply to.
Further, there is something we love about grace when it means that all we need to do is to sit back and pray for the person in question to repent. We are less fond when grace means that we keep loving and keep extending even when we receive nothing in return. But this returns us to Christ. We have been entrusted with a feast, the abundance of a God who has and continues to give, and by His Spirit equips us to feed from our storehouses. Grace would have us keep feeding, even during the rerun watching, and would expect us to stop expecting what others, perhaps, do not have in their storehouse to give.
So between all the falsehood of saying, “We’ll keep in touch,” perhaps there is a truth we speak when we say it. A hope. Perhaps a sort of promise. It is the audacious commitment that as Christ never withdrew His touch from those around Him, from the leper, from the sick, from the wealthy, from the poor, so too can we respond to the phone call from our once good friend who is just too busy with a simple, honest, and charitable, “I understand.”
Maybe then we’ll really have it all. In this way of grace, we’ll have all we need.
I wonder at what happened on Wednesday, and I get a little bit fearful. Because I’m afraid we just saw the biggest mass mobilization of Christians that we might see in our lifetimes. We might never see Christians turn out like that for anything ever again.
Is lunch the only thing that could motivate us to do that?
What could we accomplish if we got that excited about something more than stuffing our faces for a cause?
We could bring the good news to people.
We could change hearts.
We could bring 100 million chicken sandwiches to hungry children.
Next Wednesday is free for me. Anyone else? Use your imagination. We could do a lot. Something huge.
Sorry, I just got caught up in a daydream. A silly fantasy! Of course it could never happen again…
First, I love that Wales got a special mention. It’s such a shame that the UK are pretending to be all united for these Olympics, so we don’t get to see the awesome Welsh flag (hello… it’s a DRAGON) or hear the awesome Welsh anthem (pipe organs mating in a forest, LOL). Wales really has patriotism down, especially for a country that was never able to win independence from the imperial oppressor… I mean Great Britain.
Second, this paragraph encapsulates much of what infuriates me about NBC’s tyranny over the Olympics this year.
Scheduling Notes: NBC has elected not to show the final round live, choosing instead to broadcast the semifinals of men’s 92kg steeple shooting, an event in which well-dressed gentlemen on horseback fire rifles into the sides of tiny churches. To watch the action as it unfolds, navigate to nbcolympics.com, validate your cable subscription, click “Live Schedule,” then click “Watch Now,” then click “All Events,” then actually go back because that list is impossibly long, click “Schedule by Availability,” click “A,” click “Alternate Events,” reopen your browser after it crashes, Google “watch anthems final NBC,” then finally go on Twitter and ask someone for the link.
Third, it’s an Olympic event for national anthems. Brilliant!
Client: I don’t think you understand. We can’t pay you that much money since our previous web designer had already done most of the work before he left. Now all you have to do now is add a few more things here and there and you are done.
"All I ask is this: Do something. Try something. Speaking out, showing up, writing a letter, a check, a strongly worded e-mail. Pick a cause – there are few unworthy ones. And nudge yourself past the brink of tacit support to action. Once a month, once a year, or just once…Even just learning enough about a subject so you can speak against an opponent eloquently makes you an unusual personage. Start with that.”
- Joss Whedon, essay on the killing of 17-year-old Dua Khalil
Equality is not a concept. It’s not something we should be striving for. It’s a necessity. Equality is like gravity. We need it to stand on this earth as men and women, and the misogyny that is in every culture is not a true part of the human condition. It is life out of balance, and that imbalance is sucking something out of the soul of every man and woman who’s confronted with it. We need equality. Kinda now.”
I’ve never really felt like my name is really “me” but there aren’t exactly a lot of nicknames you can get with it. Plus, my dad had never even met a Heather in his life and then there were three in my class. Beyond the substitute who couldn’t pronounce my VERY NORMAL last name (or my first for that matter), there were at least 5 other girls with my same first-last combo in my area (ones who had, say, the same doctor, the same orthodontist, at least two who were in the same hospital system, etc.). One of them had the same birthday as me, but 8 years younger. Another one even has the same middle name. After being a teenager suffering from weird tiredness and having vitamins from an unmarked pill bottle forced on me every day, my pediatrician asked how the cancer treatments were going. It took a lot of tests and convincing for me to believe that they had just mixed up my chart on the way into my room that day.
I have an ex whose name is unbelievably common, and to top it off his birthday is, no joke, 5-6-78. His social and DL #’s? BOTH also ridiculously sequential. He’s like a walking example form.
So, even with a totally normal name, I’m used to having to do things like give my full first-middle-last and birthdate, and have them confirm things like address and social when normally all policy dictates is checking first and last and maybe birthday. It’s really common for people to say “oh, that’s not your record” and have to confirm more information. I would certainly rather my kid have to endure some teasing and spelling their name constantly than run the risk of being so common that their records get mixed up.