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Monthly Archives: January 2014

Science vs. God

Bill Nye worries that students won’t believe in Science because they’re too distracted by God, and Ken Ham worries that students won’t believe in God because they’re too distracted by Science.

In Good Company

After sending something into the world, after selling a couple dozen copies, I know that writing may be an individual act, but it isn’t a solitary one. It requires some very good company.

The Resolutions of Utena

The series never forgets all the hard work it takes to achieve the freedom that Adolescence of Utena celebrates, and painstakingly details the progressions it takes to achieve liberation.

January

The potential deposit return on the cascade of empty soda bottles spilling out of the front hall closet is likely sufficient to pay my wife’s bus fare for the next three semesters.

Cambodia, Pt. 2

It is impossible to come back from that trip and not feel encouraged by what we saw and heard and encountered: a people standing upright and resolute, and new life filling the cracks.

The Simplest Act

And this is a little bit comforting, but mostly annoying. Because what if God doesn’t intend for you to head toward that promotion, wasn’t planning on sticking to your timetables?

I Am Lord Voldemort

I Am Lord Voldemort

by | Jan 25, 2014

The first of Adalbert Waffling’s Fundamental Laws of Magic: “Tamper with the deepest mysteries—the source of life, the essence of self—only if prepared for consequences of the most extreme and dangerous kind.”

Be Yourself

So you can imagine my confusion when boys neglected to be dazzled by my still un-shaved armpits and my attempts to engage them in witty repartee by repeatedly quoting Muppet Treasure Island.

The Best Way to Skip Resolution-Making

The Best Way to Skip Resolution-Making

Before one of our visits, she announced that while we were there, she wanted to have a List Party. With a cake. As soon as she said list party, the idea grew legs. Wings. We all said, Absolutely yes.

Resolved

Part of the tension around New Year resolutions, I’ve realized, is suggested by the paradoxes of the meaning and etymology of the word resolution itself.

Playing the Piano

Playing the Piano

I have dabbled in piano, even learning two songs by memory just to have a few to play in case I’m zapped back to the nineteenth century and have to play piano in the equivalent of a Jane Austen novel.

Learning from “Dumb” Goals

Learning from “Dumb” Goals

I always figured that if I had something I legitimately wanted to change, I would certainly not make a NYR regarding it, because that would be pre-determining failure for the thing I actually cared about.

Resolution of the Past

Resolution of the Past

My favorite picture in the whole world: my maternal grandparents in their Sunday best, walking down a street. It’s a black-and-white picture, and to this day, I’m not entirely sure how they had it taken.

Retail Resolve

Retail Resolve

I thought it was bad my first day in the department when a woman came in, lifted up her shirt, and said “I like this bra. Can you find me another one?”

Stayin’ Alive

It’s Tuesday evening at the Southeast YMCA, and my squats are getting shallower. Cindi, the weight-training instructor, wanders through the crowded room, counting reps, shouting encouragement.

Riding a Bike in Vienna

Riding a Bike in Vienna

I can bike down each of Vienna’s alleys. I can scrape my elbow on any number of her streets. Still, the city will never be completely mine.

Janus

Every year, the Romans made promises to the god, Janus (hence January), who was often depicted as two-faced: one facing front and one facing back.

Fear of Orthodoxy

I wrote a piece earlier called “Mere Atheism,” and if you read between the lines of the opening paragraphs, you will find lurking within them an ugly fear—the mystery of why I am faithful was pinpointed on my family rather than the Holy Spirit; the mystical nature of...
I Will Not Go To Calvin

I Will Not Go To Calvin

I decided to be an astronomer at age ten. I am an astronomer now because God is gracious and I am stubborn. It is because of the former, and in spite of the latter, that I am also a Calvin alum.

Rereader

Rereader

The chord sounds a little different—less jaded and sweeter but less sappy—and I’m really glad. Glad to know I’ve changed and glad that a book has changed with me.

Play the Gloria

Play the Gloria

I don’t like resolutions because they are either so small as to be accomplished in a couple months or so general as to be forgotten within the same amount of time.

From the Polar Vortex

From the Polar Vortex

I gunned it up what looked to me like an incline about as threatening as what you might find on, say, the eighth hole of a miniature golf course, though it may as well have been a mountainside.

A Time to Clean

A Time to Clean

While I was home we hosted gatherings, which means we cleaned. As it turns out, my mom’s idea of clean and my idea of clean are not the same, and have not been the same for some time.

Retaining

Retaining

My roommate wears a retainer as well, and this is comforting as it lessens the embarrassment of the dreaded “retainer lisp.”

Messy Resolutions

Messy Resolutions

My resolutions are bricoleur. They are messy and vibrant and ambitious and mundane. It is a dirty, wrinkled list held together with Scotch tape, because this is the time for it.

Eating Pig Face

Eating Pig Face

So, in one sense, I broke my New Year’s resolution before I even made it to February. But I still did a lot. So if that’s failing, I’ll be happy to fail again this year.

News of No One

News of No One

On the bench, cradling the bottle, he folds over on himself and sits with the permanence of a doll on the top shelf of a woman’s girlhood closet. From the window above, the guard calls the dispatcher.

A New Christmas

A New Christmas

Yet, during the past three years, it had been always winter and never Christmas for Jeanne and her family: they didn’t see the point, nor could they muster the strength to celebrate without wife and mother.

Post for the Turn of the Year

Post for the Turn of the Year

December 31 certainly seems more festive than January 1. And by January 2, life resumes its normal course. Folks return to work, winter break ends, the Christmas tree comes down. Poor, poor January 2.

A Recipe from 2013

A Recipe from 2013

Begin a conversation with Person 2 about New Year’s Resolutions. (Optional: Person 2 snorts quietly.) Persist in having the conversation.