Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas from Oklahoma

Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. This morning I got up and spent a little time talking to God which is one of my favorite things to do on this day. The weather here in Oklahoma is beautiful- at least when compared to my first abysmally cold Chicago winter. It's like 40's and 50's here. Yesterday, I went jogging in shorts which is a far cry from the bundling up I do just to walk the 75 some odd yards to my gym from my apartment up north. I flew into Oklahoma City Friday night for the week and am very much looking forward to the break. Last night, I went to the candle light service at my old home church which was as beautiful as always. The lighting of the first candle and the passing of the flame to the hundreds of unlit candles until the lights in the house are brought down and a sea of little flames lights the auditorium in flickering beauty. A single verse of Silent night is sung and the blowing out of our candles is our communal good bye. I am a sucker for Christmas carols; I love the old ones. I saw some old friends as well which is always a pleasant surprise. The son of a couple of my high school friend's cancer is in remission and that is wonderful news indeed. In other news though unrelated to Christmas, my buddy Jon just let me know that the book (who is using an image from The Potter on the cover) just went on presale on Amazon and it now has a thumbnail. On top of that bit of good news, as long as everything went in alright, there should be an article in February's issue of 3d World on The Potter. Very cool. Gonna have to jet, time for the annual pilgrimage to Dallas to see the rest of my family. That and my nephews need to be held upside down by their ankles. Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Another lesson at Josh's expense...

Saturday night I wanted to finish off the left over tacos I had in the fridge, so I warmed up the meat. I had a funny feeling in my gut that maybe I was pushing the safe time table in which it was safe to eat said left overs. But I said, what the heck, and ate it anyway. I got a stomach of steel. About 10:00pm, I sensed things to be amiss. My new roommate wanted to play some Mario Kart, so we played for about forty five minutes or so and my stomach was starting to do some funny things. After that, it seemed like bed time was calling loud. I heeded the call and was looking forward to a long night's sleep. However, my gut was not happy with my choice for dinner and it was about to let me know just how much displeasure it had. It proceeded to do so just about every hour on the hour until 5:00am. Two words - violently ill. Fun times. This morning my new roommate was so kind as to go get me some saltines and gatorade and then some meds this afternoon. I'm grateful for him being such a good sport after only two days here. Lesson - When your gut tells you not to eat something and you ignore it, your gut just may make sure you get the message in the end.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

The importance of correct power supplies...

Did you know that even though two power supplies may have the same connector for the back of your electronic gizmo, they may not work correctly when interchanged? In fact, the same shape connectors can have two very different voltage outputs. This was apparently something I had missed somewhere in my electronic pilgrimage. The last week or so, I've been clearing out my second bedroom to make room for a roommate and i had disconnected my wireless router and modem in that process. Well, last night, I went to hook the net back up and plugged in my modem and my router. The modem started up fine, however, I quickly noticed a peculiar smell- burning carbon and plastic. If you've never smelled this before, I assure you it is an unmistakable scent. I picked up the router and felt the bottom getting rather hot so I unplugged it as quickly as I could. However, the damage was done. That little piece of electronics had served me well the past 4 years and it wasn't going to be routing anything anymore. It was probably time for a new one anyway, I just wish it could have gone out more gracefully - perhaps as a donation rather than in the garbage can. Alas. Lesson - Label any unmarked power supplies when moving things in the future.

The things you love...

I'm reading this collection of John Eldredge. He's a great writer who happens to write in a style I can connect with. He's been talking about life, heart, desire for more than we find in our day to day lives. It speaks to me. In the reading I did today, he said to write down those things you love - the moments that make life amazing. I thought it would be a fun exercise.

  • The eureka moment after having spent hours on a problem
  • Sitting under the stars away from the city lights
  • Fishing on a quiet lake
  • Seeing my team excel in their gifts and accomplishing what we couldn't do alone
  • Hearing one of my friends say they've met Jesus
  • Sketching and sketching and sketching to finally meet that character you've been searching for
  • The fellowship of family and friends on a lazy Sunday afternoon
  • A baby's hand curling round my finger
  • Really great animation that lives and breathes
  • Eddy's Frozen Fruit Coconut Bars
  • Hearing God speak when I slow down enough to really listen
  • A great movie that takes you from laughter to tears and back again
  • Really great finger-licking BBQ from some place you've never heard of
  • Waking up to a fresh snow before the plow man has gone to work
  • Worshipping God in those rare services where God infuses the air like incense and, no matter how many or few people may be in the room with me, in that moment I am alone in the presence of my God
  • A roaring fire and a mug of hot chocolate
  • Holding a sleeping baby
  • Turning the last page of a great novel
  • An old friend with whom no span of years makes our friendship diminish
  • My mom's pasta
  • My aunt's homemade french fries
  • Seeing someone connect with one of my films or stories
  • Seeing little kids dance with reckless abandon to no more music than what plays in their little heads
  • Finding a new author who grants me a new perspective
  • Knowing that I am loved and accepted by the God of the universe
  • Rich Mullins wailing on the hammer dulcimer
  • Climbing a mountain and seeing the horizon laid out like a painting
By no means an exhaustive list, but it made me smile just to make it. Give it a shot.

Thursday, December 8, 2005

I'm a lousy neighbor...

This morning, my rental office called and said the neighbors below me complained that it sounded like I was throwing weights around or something. The truth of the matter is that I've been clearing out my 2nd bedroom all afternoon and was setting some books on the book case in my bedroom when the shelf in the case suddenly shifted. That can't be good, I thought. All of a sudden, two shelves of books came crashing down on top of me and it was all I could to to hold the rest of the bookcase up. What I should have done was empty the rest of the case and taken care of it in the morning. However, I was tired and grumpy at having had some rather heavy art books fall on me and so my first instinct was to fix it. So I did. Tearing up some cardboard, I wedged it under the front of the case so it would have a natural back tilt. I then grabbed my hammer and stud finder and resecured the bookcase to the wall with a Thud, Thud Thud. I suddenly heard a reply of Thump, thump, thump coming from the floor below me. I figured it was a neighbor irritated with my hammering. I thought, wonder what they're so uptight about as I turned and looked at the clock. Oh. I had been so busy with the work that I had completely lost track of time. It was just shy of midnight. I, of course, felt like an inconsiderate dufus. In the future, should a shelf of books fall on me, I will look at the clock before grabbing my hammer.

Tuesday, December 6, 2005

To anonymous commenter...

Thank you for the comment. I'm glad you liked my work. On the rest, I definitely hear you. It's difficult to speak directly to your thoughts lacking knowledge of how you view the world. But I'll try. I agree that we accept a certain amount of risk and exposure when starting relationships - be they romantic or strictly friendship. Free will means that the choices of two people will probably not always conincide. With conflict comes many possibilities - rejection, reconcilliation, misunderstanding, growth. But to be afraid to take those chances would result in a life that wouldn't be really living. We can only truly be alone by choice. However, that stems from my belief that God is real and loves you and I unconditionally and there is no place I can go, no sense I can lose, no pain I can suffer that will change my faith in that. Even if you reject that notion, the fact that another person seems to be at the same crossroads you find yourself at at the same time surely must mean something. For everyone that is at this place of finding their hearts shattered, there is another that is ahead or behind us on the same trail. Life is a communal experience that way. I'm continually amazed when I read the words of some centuries-old mystic writing in a country that no longer exists crying out to God and their words could just as easily have been mine at that exact moment. It's as if their pen dipped in an inkwell so long ago was dipping into my very heart. If I understand your implications, I think healing is the most important step to take at this point. We do funny things when we're in pain, things that would normally repel us suddenly seem the only logical decision to be made. Time will change that, sharing life with others will heal that. Don't force life, let it come. You can chug a glass of wine but you ruin the flavor.

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