Saturday, April 30, 2011

sudan and south america, eh

They should measure girth instead of length. How about density or mass. Or volume.

Friday, April 29, 2011

another kind comment

I get so many disgruntled comments and emails about my Christian culture blog that the nice ones make me extra happy. Someone left this one yesterday after a commenter said my blog isn't as good anymore. I want to put the nice ones on here so they're easier to reference in the future when my self-loathing gets the better of me.

"I am not a fan of telling Ms. Drury what to do. I imagine she is quite busy with chilluns who need her, a husband she wants to pay attention to and fans the world over who crave her insight and attention that any of our projecting of who she is and who we think she ought be are trifling concerns. I am a big fan of giving her her a break on whatever it is we may project upon her. She is courageous and strong and bears more than we or she will ever fully understand. ... My impression of her comes only through the interwebs but nonetheless is more real and vibrant and beautifully strong than most of my real life. ... A deeper study of her posts and especially comments will reveal someone who is incredibly unique but aware that said uniqueness is not something that separates, but rather binds. I have yet to see a post or comment where there was not an attempt to bind to the other and find shared individuality. ... If the blog posts are lacking to your taste I am positive she will be receptive to what you perceive and are looking for, as ultimately it is all the same; even though we think it unique. ... I am all for criticism and dissent but please be a bit more polite about it. We all deserve respect and compassion, but because she is she: more so."

friday fun board

Questions:
1. The Royal Wedding: hot or not?

2. Favorite board game?

3. What food reminds you of your childhood?

4a. What isn't a sport, but should be?

4b. What is a sport, but shouldn't be?
My answers:
1. Hawt
 
2. Beyond Balderdash
 
3. Cooked carrots, cut into cross-sections
 
4a. The furious trying on of vintage clothes
 
4b. Cheerleading

Thursday, April 28, 2011

global economic collapse and cookie the penguin

I'm full of pensiveness. Pension. Ha! Well, speaking of pensions, that reminds me I'm also all concerned about the global economy and impending economic collapse so that's another thing to try not to worry about. I'm typing at the library and it suddenly smells weird in here. Like soil and mangos. This incessant rain has been tough to take and I'm spastically grateful for the two sunny days we had over the weekend, I'm still reminiscing about them. I want to go down and see Simone in LA. I'll even link her. SIMONE in L.A.

Please enjoy Cookie the penguin.

[found at Grapes of Rad]

So during lunch I walked over to the Frye Museum. All this time I've never been in there and it's so close. One installation was super creepy and I was scared of it! It was in a dark room and was like a big round tent with lights inside of it, and on the top was a giant form of a person's top half with a red cape over its head. There was spooky lighting in there and I was all alone. I crept forward to see the face of the...thing...and when I saw its head I skedaddled out of there! Then I decided to do one thing every day that scares me™ so I ventured back in. This time I saw that it was a sort of doll face but it had big manly arms and there was a tv in the tent that was showing some weird puppet torture. I feel art-ified!

Monday, April 25, 2011

friday funboard on monday

1. Name as it appears on your birth certificate?
2. Would you sell your soul for $1 million?
3. Have you ever forged your parents' signatures?
4. If so, what for?
5. What toy from your childhood should be brought back?

My answers:

1. Stephanie Lynne Hill
2. negatory
3. yes
4. On a note for Ms. Sloan in AP History in 10th grade. She caught me cutting class to hang out with Ching Mong and said I needed a note from my mom or else I'd get detention.
5. The talking Barbie that said "Math is hard!"

Saturday, April 23, 2011

louis ck and ricky gervais

What better way to observe holy week than with Louis CK and Ricky Gervais freaking out together in a turbulent plane? I am full of Easter sentiment but putting it here just won't work. So have at this.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

adventures in apologizing

There's someone I hadn't talked to in something like four years because he'd said something that really hurt my feelings. A few weeks ago God said to me "What if you apologized to him for your part in your rift?" And I was like "oh great" and tried not to think about it. But then I racked my brain and found things to apologize to him for, because I wasn't blameless. So I emailed him a big and thorough apology and told him that I love him and I really meant it. It feels really counter-intuitive but also really good. Just wanted to share that.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

email of the year

Every so often I get nice emails about my Christian culture blog and it makes me emotional because the blog is really cathartic for me. There's a little community around it that is so healing and I feel really fortunate to have it. So here's one I got today:
Steph,

Being a pastor's kid who grew up to be quite frustrated and resentful of the Christian culture that I grew up in, I became bitter, bitter, bitter. I hated Christianity and I hated Christians; but I loved Jesus intensely. I found the "Emerging Church" and they helped me vent for a while; but they really never helped me recover. During this period I learned what a lie I had been living; that the whole era of Christianity in my life was a complete sham and the total opposite of Christianity. I was so put out with the hypocrisy, the nationalism, the capitalism, the conservativism, the "culture war", the scare tactics about "going to hell", and the naivete of it all that I had missed out on real life. I had instead lived a reality that Christian culture said I should conform to; which sucked, but I never would admit that because I wanted to be "saved", I wanted to avoid hell, and I wanted to be accepted by someone-- because being a large man with a brain, a knack for cult humor, and a affinity for all things ironic isn't all too popular in adolescence.

Me and my father eventually had a falling out. I had had enough of it and his expectation for me to be a Christian culture Christian; because I knew good and well that CC was a sham to underwrite Protestanism's power in Western democracy more than it was about the Kingdom of God. One day I wrote to my father, "Dad, if what you are suggesting to me is Christianity, than I am not a Christian." That hurt my father deeply. We've had a rocky relationship sense, but being that we are both very compassionate guys, we insist that we learn to love each other. And so, we've set up boundaries to where we can talk but we don't ever talk about faith; its too big of a scar for me and him and we can never agree on anything.

Anyway...that was when I started to realize that I was becoming the very thing that I hated; a self-righteous, confrontational asshole-- only I was just a bit (ok, a lot!) more liberal. I discovered that I was going down a path of self-destruction. This is what Christian culture does; it sets people up for a lifetime of denial or a lifetime of resentment. Either way, you become a self-righteous asshole and you have no openness in your life and instead replace openness with what you need in order to protect yourself.

I then found radical Christianity; writers like Karl Barth, Stanley Hauerwas, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Jacques Ellul, John Howard Yoder, Rob Bell, and Greg Boyd; and their voices got me into a mode of changing. But, nevertheless, the more I realized how much CC misses the damn point, the angrier I got at it.

But then I found your blog. Your blog is like a death metal show. Its a place where angry outcasts can come to a safe environment and find communion in their anger; cry together, laugh together, and share our very real stories. In this, they are enabled to find some peace, because quite frankly most people scarred by CC are incredibly isolated and feel completely alone (as I was for years until I went to seminary!). Whenever we express our anger, its like a mosh pit. Its not so much that we are angry at that other person as much as we are deeply scarred people who are trying to transcend their lives that were saved from perpetual denial or perpetual resentment.

And so, I'm pretty sure that SCCL helped save me from a pit of despair and resentment that I would have had a hard time pulling myself out of. For that, you are a Godsend, because you make Christians laugh at themselves again. You make us laugh at ourselves, because at the root of laughing at ourselves is humility and openness; both virtues that seem to discipline our lives with the openness needed to avoid the patterns that CC begins in the lives of people and many have a hard time recovering from.

Peace,

B.

Friday, April 15, 2011

my april mix

Here is my April mix, I used to make these every month before my SCCL blog was on Beliefnet and now that I'm off Beliefnet and contract-free praise Jebus, I can make these things again.

This mix has one condition, that you delete the Peaches song (track 2). I thought it was a different song and that's how it got on there, but it throws off the whole vibe of the mix and I hate it. Click the pretty porcupine to download.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

amy sedaris, tokyo and mystery the seahorse

Ohhhh Amy Sedaris and Paul Dinello together again! You'd never know it was a Chipotle ad, or at least I didn't really. If this is how they're going to have to sneak advertising into our technological food then I'm just fine with it.



David got back from Tokyo today, he was there for eight days and I was a single working mom for eight days. So glad he's home, and hopefully without any viable radiation side effects. Here's their trip tumblr and also a clip of what they were doing there.

I feel like I'm healing from the church stuff that I've been carrying for the past few months. Someone who had been in a similar situation told me to read How To Survive The Loss of a Love and so I got it from the library (and tried to hide the cover when I was checking it out). It really helped so I wanted to talk about it here as maybe a resource for help for any kind of emotional injury. I'm excited about being a part of a new faith community and I'm starting to see what happened recently was necessary for me to see some things that I otherwise may not have seen. It's so hard when something like this happens in any kind of family and this was our church family so it was huge. But they also gave me a huge gift by showing what they believed so that I could make an assessment about whether I could still be there or not. And I couldn't, I can't. It would be so much easier to stay because it was my community for twelve years and I love the people there so dearly, but a fundamental part of their philosophy didn't match up with what I believe to be true. So I had to say goodbye and mourn it. It's been absolutely huge and painfully heavy for me but now that a bit of time has passed I'm able to see good things coming from it, like moving towards a new community and being excited about that and learning things from new people and interacting with them and building a new family. It's been a big thing to explain to our children as well because it was the only church family they'd ever known and they of course want to know why we can't be there anymore. We tell them that we disagree about what we believe the Bible teaches but that God is bigger than all of this and he still loves us all the same and we are trusting him to bring good new things for us. Their sweet little hearts are so open and it makes me think about how Jesus said that unless we become like little children we can't see his mysteries. And then it goes back to the mystery of what we're doing when we seek out this metaphysical, inexplicable stuff. Growing up in church it gets mechanical and angsty and really easily becomes boring because we forget there's mystery under it all. It's like there are cracks in the walls of the boringness and pain that exists in church life but the mystery is still streaming in, dying to get in somehow so it leaks in through the cracks and if we are brave enough we'll kick open the door a little and be open to it.

Wow, that was kind of a tangent.

Friday, April 8, 2011

friday fun board

Every Friday Carrie's office asks four questions on the office whiteboard and everyone writes their answers as they walk by. Carrie always emails them out to a group of us and I heart them. Today's are

1. Would you rather be too cold or too hot?
2. What is your least favorite musical genre?
3. What is your favorite detail about your house/apartment?
4. If I had a dollar for every time someone said ______ to me, I'd be rich!

and my answers are

1. I dislike them both equally. Neither are acceptable.
2. Christian music trying to be hip, closely followed by world music and mopey indie rock
3. The hardwood floors
4. "You remind me of someone but I don't know who."