Sunday, July 31, 2005

When Good Mokey's Go Bad


From the newsletter of the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo. Translated from the Hebrew by Nomi Friedman.
A known and ugly phenomenon in zoos all over the world is visitors who willfully throw things at the animals on display, especially at chimpanzees. In the best case, food is thrown, and in the worst, to our regret, we have seen rocks thrown. We are seeing a signifigant improvement in the public's conduct, but the crowds that throw stones at chimps are not our concern here. In Jerusalem the talk is of rock-throwing chimps.
When a large crowd gathers opposite Niki and Galine, the young chimpanzees leave their other chimp activities, race about looking for stones, and start throwing them at the crowd. Why do they do this? Since this is Jerusalem, it might be a way of blowing off steam, or maybe it's an expression of rebellion and independence.
A seperation fence was decided upon. In the past few weeks, the wall was builg -- green, light, elastic, and high. It fulfills its requirements, and is simple and elegant. It has proven effective in stopping the stones.
I found this article in Harper's recently. Monkey's getting revenge on the people who come to gawk at them. A part of me was glad the monkeys did this. Maybe they are reading too much into their behavior and need to realize that maybe zoos aren't the best environment for animals to be kept in. I enjoy zoos. Ever since I was a kid I thought it was great to see animals that I don't usually come into contact with. When was the last time I saw a Lemur walking in New Jersey? Even today I try to get people to go with me to the local zoo. To give many their credit they try very, very hard to make sure endangered species thrive again. Of course this might actually be a moot subject if people knew how to actually respect the earth and all it's creatures instead of throwing rocks at ones in captivity.

posted by Out Of Jersey | 9:34 PM | 0 comments

Friday, July 29, 2005

A Much Needed Rest


I am off for a few days camping and relaxing. I'll give a full report of the activities when I come back. One of the things I am most looking forward to sneaking off to get time alone with God.

posted by Out Of Jersey | 10:09 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Knowing God


Brother Lawrence told me he'd served as a footman to a Mr. Fieubet, a government accountant. He also said that during that time, he was a big, clumsy guy who broke everything. Thinking he could pay for his clumsiness and sins, he decided to enter a monastery, where he would sacrifice the pleasures of his life. But God suprised him by giving him a life of satisfaction instead. He explained that we should practice God's presence through a continuing conversation with Him, that it would be shameful to trade such a relationship for trivial foolishness, and that we should feed our souls on the highest thoughts of God. We can find deep joy, he said, by simply being with the Lord.

This was taken from an experience a priest had after meeting Brother Lawrence. A simple man of God: uneducated, coarse, and given the most simple of tasks. Yet he had a contentment doing these things like no one else I had ever heard of in recent memory. It is very rare these days for people to be satisfied in any situation, as Paul would have put it.

posted by Out Of Jersey | 10:52 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Christianity and Literature


Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you! Finally, someone talking about modern Christian writing and it's lack of artistry.

A special thanks to Jeffrey Overstreet at Looking Closer Journal for taking a look at the connection of faith and artistry every day. This is such a necessary thing. And as always there is Matt at Millinerd who looks at iconic work and finds the sacred.

posted by Out Of Jersey | 5:28 PM | 2 comments

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Three Patron Saints


I was looking at todays patron saints and noticed three I think worth mentioning:

The mother and father of Mary the mother of Jesus. It is interesting to discover who they are. I have to admit until I saw this I never gave it much consideration before as to the lineage of Jesus. What happened to his most immediate family after the crucifixion?

And slightly more recently in history is Titus Brandsma. Very outspoken about Nazi-ism he was sent to a concentration camp where he was beaten, starved, and over worked. And how does he handle this? By telling those around him to pray for the salvation of the gaurds!

posted by Out Of Jersey | 7:21 AM | 0 comments

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Where Are All The People?


Tonight I went to a block party. 'What's a block party?' You ask. I know, these days they are about as common as manatees, but every so often you can find one. Neighbors actually hanging out and talking to each other. Neighbors being - dare I say it? - neighborly. The funny thing is, I see the epidemic of people only keeping to themselves in church as well. Do we have church picnics anymore? Do we even know each other outside of church anymore? What I love about the Gospels is how you see Jesus and the Apostles being together. It is everywhere: hanging out with Matthew and other "sinners", the apostles meeting before the coming of the Holy Spirit, and them eating a meal together. Jesus had to have known you cannot live out your faith in a vaccum. As much as I believe in taking retreats and going off alone to be with the father I also know that you have to come back and be with people. When did we get to be so self sentered? As believers we should be the first to offer people a place at our table. One thing that has impressed me about several people I know is that is exactly what they do. Have we forgotten what is the greatest commandment?

posted by Out Of Jersey | 8:55 PM | 0 comments

Music You'd Hear In A Dentist's Waiting Room


Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass - Lost Treasures

I have to admit I do not think I would have gotten this CD if it weren't for the fact it was a freebie I got through work. I had never heard Herb Alpert's music. I don't think I ever went out of my way to try to listen to his music. This is pure unadulterated cheese. This is what happens when Barry Manilow and Miles Davis have a love child. And I have to admit I like it! It is because of the fact it is kind of silly that makes me want to listen to it more. If you listen to this album with no expectations then you might be suprised to find that you might like it too.

posted by Out Of Jersey | 9:16 AM | 0 comments

Friday, July 22, 2005

Farewell to a Wrestling Legend


WWE journalist and wrestler Lord Alfred Hayes passes away.

posted by Out Of Jersey | 4:28 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Live Long and Prosper


Thanks for all the memories Scotty

Update:
They are blasting his ashes into outerspace. How perfect is that?

posted by Out Of Jersey | 12:08 PM | 0 comments

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The Anti-Osbournes


Looks like former Run-DMC member Rev. Run has a reality show coming out in the near future. I wonder how many bleeps per second will there be on his show?

posted by Out Of Jersey | 6:48 AM | 0 comments

Monday, July 18, 2005

The Cult of Harry Potter


Harry Potter From Friday 8:00 PM straight through 'til Saturday 1:00 AM I was dunked and held under into Potter-Mania. Working part-time in a major book store we counted down the days with much loathing. A few of us (including myself) did not work when the last book came out so we spent the next few weeks around the water cooler hearing stories that usually ended with a customer getting mad and an employee crying. I heard at one store a few customers resorted to bighting. That can't be good.

All in all, though hectic things went smoothly. My café constantly full of Potterites made me wonder if this were some sort of cult. Adults as well as children were dressed up in Potter gear: Potter glasses, Potter Robe, Potter school tie, Potter scar, etc. What confirmed this was this twelve year old girl decked out in Potter Gear carrying a picture of the young wizard as if it were a portrait of the pontif. I expected to see a few of her fellow Potterites following behind spreading incense and singing Gregorian chants.
As an avowed Whovian I can totally understand how people can people can become attatched to a character from a show, movie, book, or whatever. I even squealed with glee when I heard that the BBC was finally making new episodes of the show. And on more than one occasion I dressed up as The Doctor for Halloween. Alright, I admit it, I wanted to be a Time Lord! Travelling through out time and space saving entire civilizations from oblivion.
Life didn't turn out that way for me I am afraid. Or for anyone who wishes to be a jedi, wizard, hobbit, etc. Which is probably a blessing in disguise.

posted by Out Of Jersey | 8:29 PM | 0 comments

Out of the Desert


A brother asked him, 'How ought we to live?' Poemen replied,' We have seen the example of Daniel. They accused him of nothing except that he served his God.'

This is a saying from The Desert Fathers. A group of early Christians who lived out in the Egyptian desert in order to better seek and live out their lives as hermits. It is said that Anthony the Great exuded such a level of holiness that it attracted many disciples. Although there are many flaws in their teachings and life style (Christ spent much time alone, but he also went out into the world) these are a fascinating sayings and show how they greatly influenced the Catholic church and probably even protestant faiths more than we realize.

posted by Out Of Jersey | 4:51 AM | 0 comments

Friday, July 15, 2005

Amazon.Com's Author's Hall Of Fame


To celebrate the companies 10th anniversary Amazon.Com has compiled a list of the authors who have sold tons of books through their sight. I have to say I am suprised at who made it on the list. Not because of their success, but because of the quality and lasting value of their work. Several of the books are meant to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Others to make you feel very unhappy with the way you look. It is a shame that we came from a society that gave us Hemingway, Steinbeck, Welty, Langston Hughes, Lucille Clifton, and Faulkner (a very short list to say the least!) and are now uplifting the mediocre. Thank you Dr. Seuss, Stephen King, Tolkien, Lewis, and Snickett for you are a rare breed. Thank you for challenging us, for not just giving stories that make us feel all warm and fuzzy or insult our intelligience. You are what it means to be a writer.

posted by Out Of Jersey | 6:02 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, July 14, 2005

The Best Chinese Food In NJ


Joe's Peking Duck
A co-worker of mine suggested we go there for lunch one time. I am usually not a fan of going out to eat during work because you cannot garuntee you'll get back on time. He assured me that we'll be back with plenty of time to spare, so I figured why not. All I can say is Wow! I have never had chinese food this good outside of Philadelphia or New York. Even their hot and sour soup was perfect. Every other place I have gone too either their soup is so over powering that it burns my mouth, or it is so bland to the point of having no taste. This was just right. And the duck, which it is famous for, was tender and came right off the bone. Even the pork was choice tenderloin instead of the scraps you usually get. This is the type of place I'll drive to in order to get it. And we were in and out in under 30 minutes. Even my take outs were done faster than any other place I have been too. This establishment is welcoming, clean, and I am hard pressed to say I have ever had better.

posted by Out Of Jersey | 11:13 PM | 3 comments

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Finding Joy In the Slums of India


City of Joy - City of Joy - Dominique Lapierre


I do not know where to begin with this book. To begin with it is the true account of a priest, a doctor, and a poor family in the slums of Calcutta. All I can say is the next time we start to complain about how bad things are in America we need to stop ourselves, read this book, and really evaluate whether things are that bad here. Do we have a problem with leprosy here? After reading this book I can safely say that even in my current situation: life is good. I have three square meals a day, a job, a car, and I do not have to worry about police brutality, corruption, or being exploited by my bosses. For the people in the slums of Calcutta it is a way of life. Death is so common that it is a daily occurrence, even under many of their own rooftops many people can die in a given day. Living in a slum is considered a blessing, dying young a definate, scurrying through trash, selling off their bones when they die, and it continues. LaPierre because of his experiences started City of Joy Aid to help battle poverty. A well made movie starring Patrick Swayze, who suprisingly did a very good job, and an increcible Indian actor Om Puri as the indian father trying to do anything to help his family survive. This movie is a much more paletable version of the book, but it still can be painful the watch. All the lepers in the movie were real inhabitants of the leper colony. Both are worth while, both are painful, both should make you very uncomfortable. If you want to be uplifted by the human spirit, faith, and love in the midst of extreme poverty then check it out.

posted by Out Of Jersey | 5:27 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

oops


Being the computer genious that I am I managed to delete this sight. Fortunately I was able to recreate the sight as best I could, unfortunately losing everyone's posts. I appologize for that and hopefully I will not do it again!

posted by Out Of Jersey | 12:57 PM | 2 comments

Good Question


It is nice to see a fellow believer actually asking an important question. So how does post-modern liberalism apply to this one? Good call to my coffee loving brother in arms at Caffeinated Adventures for giving something worth meditating on.

posted by Out Of Jersey | 10:42 AM | 2 comments

R.I.P. South Street


I recently went to South Street for the first time in the better part of two years. Ever since I was a kid my father took me and my friends to South Street to go in all the wierd boutiques, shops, and used book stores. Back then it was a haven for people who were different to go and hang out. Over the years it had a few rough spots (being over run by skinheads and gangs), but then it started to rebound. These little boutiques started to flourish and even prosper. Word got out about this great bohemian street in Philadelphia and next thing you know it becomes a hip place to hang out. Soon developers and major chain stores started to smell the possibilities and the Cool Hunters were called in to find out how to best market this small piece of bohemian paradise. First came the Gap, then Taco Bell, and finally an Abercrombie and Fitch. There are a few indie record stores and of course Zipper Head. One of the only places still around from when I was a kid. A place Hot Topic wishes it could be. Now tourists are told to visit the hip bohemian paradise of South Street, but it is anything but that. Farewell South Street. You've been good to me over the years. Fortunately several of your once great stores have moved over to Olde City so I can still find solace there.

posted by Out Of Jersey | 7:45 AM | 0 comments

Ignorance is Bliss


I found this quote on a mission statement for a "progressive" web sight:

We demand our members to show complete intolerance for oppression, bigotry, ignorance, violence, corruption, and exploitation. We may choose to deny membership to individuals who support certain politicians; for example, George W. Bush.

Maybe I am wrong, but by denying membership to someone whose ideology is different than yours a form of bigotry and ignorance?

posted by Out Of Jersey | 7:42 AM | 2 comments

Anger


I do not usually do this, but I feel at this point I have to. I cannot out of good conscience just keep quiet. When I see believers resorting to exploitive means to get their message across then I feel we have failed to honor God and instead become the worst that Christianity has to offer instead of the best. I up until today had the Slice of Laodicea web blog listed as one of my favorites. Although I did not agree with them on many issues I felt they were a good sight on getting information and really asking yourself what you believe as far as faith is concerned. They'd discuss rather passionately trends that are going on in the church. Their views on youth ministry are rather antiquated, and at times their speach can borderline philosophical egg headedness, but I believed their heart to be in the right place. Until I found a picture of a dead fetus head posted on their sight. I was sickened at the picture (and rightfully so). As much as I am opposed to abortion in most circumstances it is cheap and exploitive tactics like that which prove our critics right in saying we are cruel and do not love as Christ loved. It is throwing in the face others decisions instead of loving others and trying to help in offering them other options for this decision. They should be ashamed of themselves and as of immediately the sight has been removed from my list of favorites.

posted by Out Of Jersey | 7:41 AM | 0 comments

A New Jersey Poet


It is very rare that I personally get to know a poet whose work is as strong his Dan Maguire's is. Unkown to the world he mostly tramps around the Philadelphia Area reading at local coffee houses and Taverns publishing the occassional poem in well respected journals and getting to workshop with Robert Bly. Last year he got a little recognition. After a reading a man came up to Dan and asked where he could buy a copy of his book. Dan said,"You can't. I don't have one." The man replies,"You do now." It turned out the man was in charge of giving grants to artists, so my friend got some money to put out a book. Here is a poem from "Somewhere Between" from Brief Candle Press, PO Box 176, Maple Shade, New Jersey 08052.

"Moira"

In early June of 1969,
Matthew Calvin, who lived down the street,
suggested that his wife go out for cigarettes,
even though she had a carton by the bed.
He told her Take at least an hour...

call 9-1-1 when you get back.
There must have been a tiny pearl of silence
as they stood eye to eye, then looked away.
He substituted I'll be in my workshop
for good-bye.

An All-American in college,
a soldier and a sportsman--
now, his business failing,
the claw of cancer taking hold--
he could no longer shake the hands

or stroke the silk. I heard my parents
late on enight, heard my father say
Matt Calvin offered me the shore house.
There was an unfamiliar anguish in his voice.
Both he and Matt were fifty-six years old.

Spring sneaks into summer.
June replaces June.
Today, I saw myself reflected,
not in the steamy haze of shaving,
but clearly, in the full-length mirror

I usually avoid. Graying,
more than just a little overweight,
I stared in silence...at my father.
And I thought of Matthew Calvin,
all those Junes ago.

When Khares of Lyndos completed
his Colossus for the people of Rhodes,
he took his accolades, and went to see
the Oracle at Delphi.
He told the Pythia that he had built

the tallest structure in the world,
he fed the sacred snake, and aksed
his question -- what next?
Climb to the top, she said.
Jump off.

posted by Out Of Jersey | 7:39 AM | 0 comments

Finding Joy In the Slums of India


City of Joy - Dominique LaPierre

I do not know where to begin with this book. To begin with it is the true account of a priest, a doctor, and a poor family in the slums of Calcutta. All I can say is the next time we start to complain about how bad things are in America we need to stop ourselves, read this book, and really evaluate whether things are that bad here. Do we have a problem with leprosy here? After reading this book I can safely say that even in my current situation: life is good. I have three square meals a day, a job, a car, and I do not have to worry about police brutality, corruption, or being exploited by my bosses. For the people in the slums of Calcutta it is a way of life. Death is so common that it is a daily occurrence, even under many of their own rooftops many people can die in a given day. Living in a slum is considered a blessing, dying young a definate, scurrying through trash, selling off their bones when they day, and it continues. LaPierre because of his experiences started City of Joy Aid to help battle poverty. A well made movie starring Patrick Swayze, who suprisingly did a very good job, and an increcible Indian actor Om Puri as the indian father trying to do anything to help his family survive. This movie is a much more paletable version of the book, but it still can be painful the watch. All the lepers in the movie were real inhabitants of the leper colony. Both are worth while, both are painful, both should make you very uncomfortable. If you want to be uplifted by the human spirit, faith, and love in the midst of extreme poverty then check it out.

posted by Out Of Jersey | 7:38 AM | 0 comments

100 Things About Me


In no particular Order:

100)I was born in Mass., but lived in NJ since I was 6 weeks old.
99)I almost always lived within a five mile radious of the house I grew up in.
98)I learned how to cook in elementary school when I asked for pancakes and my parents said, "Here's the package, follow the instructions."
97)I started drinking coffee in the fifth grade.
98)I am a vorascious reader, there were times I'd finish a book in a day.
97)The first "adult novel" I read was Agatha Christies "And Then There Were None."
96)I became a Christian in higschool.
95)I was raised Catholic, but have visited almost all the major denominations, including Messianic Jewish.
94)I have been to the Dominican Republic twice.
93)I have one older sister
92)I took a stab and stand-up comedy.
91)I have written poetry since highschool and been published a few times.
90)There are several friendships I've had for multiple decades.
89)I own more poetry books than novels, theology, and history put together.
88)I listen to Barry Manilow and Neil Diamond.
87)I started going bald at 19.
86)I shaved my head the first time when I lost a bet.
85)I have gone to the same restaurant for my birthday almost every year for the last decade (Sagami!)
84)I am shorter than my sister by several inches.
83)I can't go anywhere without making friends.
82)I hate talking on the phone, but do it to talk to people who live long distance.
81)My favorite movie for years was Smoke, now it's The Station Agent.
80)The one CD I listen to most is The Hooligans - Another Fine Mess
79)I am a home owner
78)I love going to diners late at night, getting a cup of coffee, cheese fries, and talking all night.
77)I love Doctor Who
76)I watch pro-wrestling
75)I believe everyone has 10 guilty pleasures, the 5 they talk about and the 5 they do not.
74)I believe I will never fully get every aspect of Chrsitianity, but it's fun to try.
73)I fidget too much.
72)I am too loud.
71)I am an extremely blessed person with the best friends in the world.
70)My parents took me to art museums starting when I was a toddler.
69)My father introduced me to blues music.
68)My mother introduced me to independent film.
67)I've been to see the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
66)I went to my 10 year highschool reunion.
65)I have sought out old friends and aquaintences I haven't seen in years.
64)I own one suit
63)I own more jeans than dress slacks.
62)I prefer being barefoot
61)I am one of a few people who got fired from a state job (yea baby!)
60)I have been to 60+ concerts.
59)I get sea sick
58)I no longer watch TV (not including movies and dvd's)
57)I have been in a mosh pit.
56)I have a black in karate (I earned it when I was 12 and quit a year later and now regret quitting)
55)I won 1 wrestling match
54)I have both given and received wedgies
53)There are 4 surviving generations of Gorgones.
52)My dad took me out of school to watch a dry docking of an air craft carrier.
51)when driving mom into work at 4 in the morning when I was 17 she told me not to waive back at the women on the street corners.
50)I got fired from the same job twice.
49)I have been to boston in the fall.
48)I didn't know most families didn't try to fit as many people as possible into a living room during holidays and stuff themselves stupid on multiple courses until I was in my 20's.
47)I always had home made costumes for halloween.
46)The Muppet Movie still makes me laugh.
45)One friend of mine keeps getting me to go see movies opening night at midnight and even convinced me to wait in line with him for tickets to Star Wars Episode 2.
44)I usually get talked into doing things I do not think I want to do, but wind up enjoying anyway.
43)I don't watch sports on TV, but I love going to live sporting events.
42)I saw Sting beat Jake The Snake Roberts in a Spin the Wheel Make The Deal event.
41)I went to school with Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka's daughters.
40)My sister is the first woman to graduate first in her class at college.
39)I tried college on 3 occassions and have 2 associates degrees.
38)I worked at a video store for 6 years on 2 separate occassions.
37)My family refers to me as The Milk Man's Kid.
36)I would like to learn a 2nd language in order to translate poetry.
35)I have been in the news papers twice as a kid.
34)I won a local drama award in the 8th grade, my name is on a plaque in the theater that gave it.
33)On a retreat I woke up with a cheeze whiz smiley face on my forehead.
32)I am stubborn
31)I bottle up my temper.
30)The only bone I ever broke was a tooth
29)I am cleaning impared, but I try
28)I never dated in college
27)I used to be extremely shy
26)I am sarcastic
25)I talk to my parents and sister at least once a week.
24)I love sushi, but I hate most vegetables
23)Only 4 people know the one way to get me to behave.
22)I own more t-shirts than dress shirts.
21)I am better at picking out clothes for other people than myself.
20)I prefer darker colors to bright.
19)I make my own gravy
18)I used to know how to sail.
17)I worked at a summer camp one year.
16)I worked as Chuck E. Cheese
15)I enjoy being a Barista
14)two of my favorite movies (clerks & office space) I hated the first time I saw them because they reminded me to much of my own life. It wasn't until I saw them a second time that I loved them.
13)I sort of know how to play the tin whistle
12)I go to the same families houses for christmas, new years, and the forth of july every year before or after visiting my own family and will never work on those days for that reason.
11)I was engaged to a girl in highschool.
10)I used to play the saxophone and clarinet
9)I cannot wait to finish this list
8)Some friends and I created a role playing game in highschool called Gheldgirig.
7)I discovered the tooth fairy wasn't real when my father accidentally woke me up when replacing my tooth with a quarter.
6)My first car was a 1987 chevy spectrum.
5)All of my cars (except my first) have been toyotas.
4)I make up recipes for spam
3)I have 3 different devices for making coffee
2)I still watch cartoons
1)I am blessed

posted by Out Of Jersey | 7:37 AM | 1 comments