Friday, October 31, 2003

Strange but true

My mom just sent me a clipping from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. I don't watch TV so I totally missed the whole thing, but the guy - the "star" - of the Joe Schmoe show is a guy I went to highschool with. In fact, he was in my homeroom. His last name Gould - my last name Gold - so we pretty much sat right next to each other for four years.

The article went on and on about what I nice guy he is... perhaps. I don't remember him being particularly nice. But then again, who hasn't improved since high school.

I envy him the $100,000 check though... sigh.

Sunday, October 26, 2003


I'm finding it extremely hard to be motivated for school anymore. I feel like I'm just jumping through the hoops at this point. Maybe I'd feel differently if our instructor wasn't a complete moron. He's not stupid, he's just an ass. Two more weeks of him and we get to move on though. Back to one of the instructors we had near the beginning - for our third class, I think. And this next class should be interesting. It's officially titled "Action Research" and is supposed to replace what would otherwise be a Master's thesis.

Too bad, because I would LOVE to see some of the yahoos in my program try to write a thesis. Most of them bitch and moan over five pages... Maybe that's the real reason I'm sick of the program. We're all a little burned out, but some of these guys are acting like ten years olds who've been kept inside too long. They practically sit there pouting.

The other night, we went to the Eccles Broadcast center up at the University of Utah to see where and how they broadcast the Ednet system (very cool) and then drove back to school for the last half of class. The instructor was late getting back, so two of the guys decided that they wanted to get home earlier than usual that night and set the clock in the room ahead twenty minutes.

Hello, fifth graders?

I'm not just disgusted with our instructor anymore, now I'm ready to smack half my classmates. No wonder the prospect of blowing off class to go to the NaNo kickoff has me excited.


Thursday, October 23, 2003


You are Form 4, Gargoyle: The Fallen.

"And The Gargoyle mended his wings from the
blood of the fallen so he could rise up from
imprisonment. With great speed and
resourcefulness, Gargoyle made the world his
for the taking."

Some examples of the Gargoyle Form are Daedalus
(Greek) and Mary Magdalene (Christian).
The Gargoyle is associated with the concept of
success, the number 4, and the element of wood.
His sign is the new moon.

As a member of Form 4, you are a creative and
resourceful individual. You are always
thinking of possible solutions to problems you
face and you generally choose one that is
right. Much of your success comes from your
ability to look at things a little differently
than everyone else. Gargoyles are the best
friends to have because they don't always take
things for face value.

Which Mythological Form Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Monday, October 20, 2003

Much sadness

My toaster died today. It's in perfect condition, except that its circuits have been fried. Electricity not flowing into my little heating box.

Of course, I'm going out to buy another one right now. You don't understand how many of my meals rely on the ability to toast bread. At least breakfast and lunch - dinner is usually a step or two above that.

Sigh. Better the toaster than the car, though.

Friday, October 17, 2003

Religion and Belief

I posted a few things on the Religious Debates forum at Evolution last month and I been meaning to elaborate on some of those ideas for a while. So, before I get distracted with outlining and worldbuilding for my NaNoWriMo project today, I thought I would try to put some order to my thoughts. (I know, not entirely possible for me. But still, I try.)

Religion and the reasons people choose to believe a certain thing, join a specific denomination, or attend church regularly are things that have always facinated me. Probably because I can't quite wrap my mind around it. It just feels empty to me.

For me, the relationship with God is a very personal issue. As I've written previously (perhaps not here though) I don't have any sense of God when I'm in a church or attending religious functions. (The one notable exception to this is Sacre Coeur in Paris, which just has a quiet presence that never fails to soothe me.) No, I generally feel that connection outside, whether it be at the top of a mountain, under a clear, starry sky, or out in the middle of the Grand Canyon.

Hiking the GC was the first place I had felt that overwhelming sense of how immense and how intensely beautiful a place could be - and also the feeling that I belonged there and... I don't know quite how to explain it. Just this incredible sense of awe and well-being. I've felt it again many times since, but hiking there was the first place I had felt it in a very long time. So for me - that's it. No church, no religion can come close to that feeling. And maybe that's because those are man's constructs and are flawed in the way that we are all flawed - subject to human imperfection and a certain mortal pettiness.

Outside - in nature, if you prefer - you don't have that. There's you and there's wind, rain, rock, sun, trail, mountain... Nature has a certain impassive "been here long before you - will be here long after you" kind of wonder to it. If you don't have respect for the climate and the terrain, you're going to be in trouble. But if you approach the activity/place with the proper respect and preparation, the rewards can be amazing.

So maybe that's the feeling that other people find in their church communities... I'm not sure. I think many people go because they think they have to or because they are afraid not to. That's what I couldn't get behind - that going to church always felt like such a chore. With all the grumbling and fussing it didn't have any JOY in it for me.

I was raised Catholic. I believe I stopped attending mass around age 16 or 17. I recall numerous times sitting around the dinner table, talking, and the subject of religion and faith would come up. The big question was always, "Well, what DO you believe, then?" I never had an answer. A couple times my mother dressed me down for acting like I was better than everyone else "You think that we couldn't possibly understand how smart and complex you are." But what I don't think she ever understood was that I didn't have the words to give an answer. Belief is such a complex subject. I didn't have the experience or the reference to explain so that I could understand it myself, much less transmit that understanding to someone else. I still don't have it and I might never.

It was never as simple for me as "Oh, Jesus is the son of God and with the Holy Spirit, they are all One as the Holy Trinity." I mean, honestly, what does that mean? I think those are terms that men have established to put something that is beyond human understanding into a package that most people can at least recite, if not comprehend.

On the Jesus subject (very briefly)... I believe there are some people in this world who have a greater connection to God (or whatever term you prefer), a greater awareness of our place in creation. I have no doubt that he existed and was a compelling individual whose intelligence and compassion set him apart in his time. He was most certainly a teacher and a leader. Was he the Son of God? Well... in some sense, aren't we all? Some people just shoulder the responsibility better than others.

The whole cult of Christ - Christianity... I just can't believe that's what Jesus would have wanted. It's become a twisted heap of rules, regulations, hierarchies, and opposing factions. In theory, I think it's a positive philosophy. It practice, it doesn't always come out so good.

The whole Bible argument - "Well, it says in the Bible that..." - used to justify hatred and prejudice... sick. Really sick. Those words were not inscribed by God's hand. Even Christ didn't have a go at them. No. Those words, filtered through the imperfect, and naturally prejudiced minds of men, work hard to interpret what the authors saw as God's message. But it's also a mythological history of a people. Stories have long been used to illustrate an author's point. And while there are clearly factual historic details in there, it's not meant to be a literal thing.

Anyway, I think that's enough for me today. I'll return to the subject later.

Monday, October 13, 2003


So. Filed for unemployment today - that's a first for me. I'll be laid off from the Goldener Hirsch until December 1st, but at least I know I have a job to go back to.

This is a much less nerve-wracking prospect than my three months of desperate job-seeking this summer. Almost three months of unemployment (May-July) does not exactly boost one's self esteem.

I'm still registered to substitute teach, but have not received any calls yet. I think I might need to register at a few more districts... maybe at the catholic school, too. I can still make an additional $80/week without losing benefits - that would be about a day and ahalf of subbing each week.

We'll see what happens.
Now, this, I like.

INFJ - "Author". Strong drive and enjoyment to help others. Complex personality. 1% of the total population.
Take Free Myers-Briggs Personality Test

Sunday, October 12, 2003


Has the posting set up changed again, or is it really just this different on Windows versus my beloved Mac?

I hope it hasn't changed and this is just an evil PC anomaly. Please please please.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Absentee Blogging

I'm finding that I can either write or I can blog. For now, writing is taking precedent over babbling away here.

As of October 12th, I will be on a seasonal layoff from the Inn, so perhaps I'll have more time then.

For now, I am completely uninspired in terms of Blogotopics. (As if you hadn't already figured that out.)

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Woo Hoo!

I signed up for NaNoWriMo today. Should be pretty dern nifty, I think.

Maybe there is an upside to being laid off for the month of November... heh heh.