Thursday, December 27, 2007

Some Optimism For The New Year

According to economist Russell Roberts, things aren't as bad as we'd like to think.

Looks like Starbucks isn't the great satan after all.

Paris Hilton just got a little poorer. Maybe she can get a job at Starbucks?

And it is time again for the annual what have you discovered over the past year? I think it's a little fun to look back over a year and think about the little things you've enjoyed. What movies, music, books, etc. have you discovered, whether new or old, over the past year that has really struck you as good stuff. Let me know by next friday and I'll post the link on my blog.


posted by Out Of Jersey | 5:25 AM | 3 comments

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Happy Holidays

I know this is a tad early, but I don't know when I'll get the chance to post this. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night. Even though this song is titled "Fairtytale of New York" I especially like how people mis-title it even better: Christmas In The Drunk Tank.

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

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Name That Church

About 2 months ago I asked if anyone could name the church mentioned in a book I had just read. Looking back on this book now I am still amazed at the description the author gave. Though I have to admit I cheated a little bit. First off, The Church Of The New Revelation mentioned in the book doesn't exist. Second, the book I read was a sci-fi novel written about 40 years ago. I found it amazing how Robert Heinlein had the insight to describe, for the most part, pretty accurately what would become the modern mega-church movement. With the exception their church was very sexual and had drinking and gambling in the church premises. Though many do have bingo or casino nights. He did describe a huge orginization with tons of money, a powerful leader that few people had the opportunity to meet, and a seeker style service that was about as deep as a dinner plate. With sci-fi writers it makes you wonder if they had any idea what they were writing may someday become true. Why not? They were the first to describe space travel, computers, and satellites (though it was imagined to be powered by a windmill in space). Are we that far off? Is it that far fetched that we may someday become a church based entirely on self-pleasure and entertainment?

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posted by Out Of Jersey | 5:26 AM | 2 comments

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Dreaded Plantain Incident + Can You Name All The Cartoon Characters?

All I know is I watch waaaay too many cartoons!!! I got all but maybe 2 or 3.

The Dreaded Plantain Incident:

I'm just going to come out and say that this story is not the least bit flattering for either me or Millinerd. Though, according to him, it is one of those shared histories that seems to come up from time to time even though it happened many many years ago. Millinerd and I went to highschool together though we became friends in our churches youthgroup. One year he and I were on a youth trip to the Dominican Republic where we roomed with a wonderful pastor and his family. They were too generous, giving us a very substantial breakfast every morning consisting of hardboiled eggs, coffee, fruit, and mashed plantains. For any of you who don't know what a plantain is the best way I can describe it is it looks like a banana but tastes like a potatoe. For the record fried plantains with ketchup are awesome. Mashed plantains with butter tastes like dirt. We had to eat it, because we were told it was rude to not eat everything that was on our plate. So each morning Millinerd and I would get an ever expanding bowl of mashed plantains (I swear, the helpings got bigger each day! They must have thought we liked it since we cleaned our plates) and we'd force ourselves to eat it. Then on the last day we were to be staying there before heading to a resort to re-adjust to life in the states the wonderful mother placed another bowl of plantains in front of us. We stared at them for a moment unable to bring ourselves to even start to dig in. Next thing I know, and I do not condone these actions, Millinerd starts to shove handfuls of piping hot plantains into his pocket.

"What are you doing?" I whispered, though looking back on it I don't know why since no one in the family spoke english.

"I can't take it anymore! I had enough of plantains." He whispers back. Looking to the kitchen (which was only a sheet seperating the kitchen table from her) I looked at my bowl and started shoving handfuls into my pocket. We thanked them and said our goodbyes as we ran out to meet everyone at the meeting house. And let me just say I was punished for my sins as the plantains burned very badly in my pocket.


posted by Out Of Jersey | 11:37 AM | 8 comments

Monday, December 03, 2007

Old Snow And Other Musings

In reference to my previous post I was asked where I would start with Bei Dao's work. Definately with Old Snow. Besides being some of his strongest work it is his most cohesive book since it spans a greater portion of his exile and reflects his feelings during that time.

Also, I'd like to thank Millinerd for coming down and speaking for my churches young adult group this past friday night. He spoke on film and using them to explain our christian worldview. It was a lively discussion and it was great to be able to spend time with him and his wife for an evening. Even if he did share the dreaded plantain incident.


posted by Out Of Jersey | 12:26 PM | 4 comments