A blog whereby I motivate myself, and my readers, to punch me in the mouth.

  "Punchworthy feeds our deepest Freudian wishes!" --Entertainment

  "The consumate rocker's rocker. Charming, personable... a sucking void of inescapable inner turmoil."

Sunday, November 25, 2007

oh wow!

I really need to update the blog, don't I?

Sorry, I got really busy. The final week and a half-ish prior to Thanksgiving was nuts, with me working on writing things most nights. It was a big push of work and stuff right up until we left. Taking an extra day off of work didn't help, but I was glad I did.

The long weekend was a good one. We ate entirely too much, but we spent way more time just relaxing than we did eating, and we definitely needed that.

Wednesday was pretty relaxed, with everyone arriving at the folks'. Then Thursday we headed to my grandparents' house and had dinner with the rest of the family--aunts, uncles, cousins. Thursday was also Deb's birthday, but not much happened with that, because when you have your birthday on Thanksgiving, the day is all taken up with one holiday already! I was going to get her a frozen pie from the Jarling's this year, but I couldn't because they were closed. :-(
I went busting over there Tuesday afternoon, trying to be sneaky, and when I got there I found the whole place transformed into a Christmas tree stand. Stupid people and their pre-Thanksgiving Christmas trees! Rant rant rant!! {shakes fist angrily}

Thursday night, Scott, dad and I headed down to the river cabin. We hunted ducks Friday and Saturday morning, and it was a really good weekend for it. Plenty cold, but not cold enough to actually injure yourself. There were a lot of diving ducks on the pool. More than there have been since I was in high school, so it was kind of a nostalgic experience.

The ducks reported no feelings of nostalgia.

But they will be tasty, I'm sure.

Friday night mom & dad took the kids to see Christmas lights, and we went out to dinner with Lisa and Scott. There's a pretty nice place there on the river at Burlington, and we had a good time. We weren't really hungry, but the food was still tasty, and we watched "Flight of the Conchords" on the iPhone, so a good time all around.

And last night we came home, to start getting our head back in the game. Hello, Game! Nice to see ya.


Monday, November 12, 2007

They get that from me

I'm often amazed how my kids can know almost literally nothing and yet go on and on about it. Endless pontification based in ignorance.

But then it occurs to me that pretty much anything they do they had to learn from someone.

Anywho... here's something interesting!

It's about giving away super cool laptop computers to poor kids all over the world. And to yourself at the same time.

On one hand, it is totally lampoon-able. Because.. I mean.. "Hey destitute kid! Have a laptop!"

But on the other, much less cynical hand, it's pretty cool. Don't be a hater--if it's that cool it must be somehow worthwhile!


Wednesday, November 07, 2007


This morning, on a christian radio station promo spot:

"I don't have to worry about turning the radio down," said a mother's voice...

"I don't have to explain the songs to my kids."


Because I would hate to have to step away from myself long enough to explain songs to my kids. Or even think about them! Why talk about the impact and perspective of secular songs when we could just turn on the box marked "Jesus"? The one which, apparently, doesn't require any explanation or discussion about impact and perspective.

We live an insular faith. Which begs the question.. is it even possible to "live" an insular faith? Does such a thing exist? And it's not just about having our own version of YouTube, MySpace and Wikipedia. Although we do. (Double Super!) It's about never rubbing up against anything, including each other, and quite possibly the God that we claim to love.

This Sunday I went to a church that I've only been to once before. There are thousands of people who go there--it's literally swarming with bodies. And they have a great band, and cool lighting... video, glittery-robed choir, charming and personable pastor... But it struck me during the service that a person can quite literally go through the entire process of attending this church without participating in it one little bit.

Now, if you count showing up in the same room, singing the same songs, and drinking your juice at the same moment as "participating," then this is where our paths will diverge, I guess. Because I don't. When I can walk from my car, through the doors, to the bathrooms, to the sanctuary, be ushered to a seat, and then go through a service, communion, get back up and repeat the process.. and the biggest interaction required is a friendly nod and an uncomfortable handshake.. I think we're working with a model that's inherently busted.

Following Jesus is a participatory process. God participates within himself--a neat "triune personality" trick, and if you can pull it off please stop reading now--and so completes himself. And when God invites us, calls us, to be saved, he invites us to join the circle. To be participatory with him and like him. This is no accident. This is a necessary piece of a transformative process. And transformation is all-too-obviously necessary for us to be complete in a way anything resembling God.

Transformation doesn't take place from within. Even if you're of the "all I need is the Holy Spirit and my Bible" camp, the tools of your purported transformation aren't of yourself. We don't come with the Spirit pre-installed and a copy of Strong's Exhaustive Concordance strapped to our back. Iron sharpens iron, but only if you've got two pieces of iron. And, regardless of whether you've got the Spirit and/or a clever hinging system that's still not what Jesus taught.

According to Jesus, there's a better way to live. There's truth and community and transformation. Do we want to be changed? Do we want our world to be changed? As long as "going to church" or even "listening to the radio" are christian activities we do in a vacuum, that's not going to happen.

Christianity isn't about the self; it's about the other. Because it isn't the self that changes us.


Monday, November 05, 2007

Don't eat Paste!

Read it.

Paste Magazine, that is.

As the result of a terribly fortunate gift from Amy & Dave a few years ago, and a couple equally fortunate follow-ups from my awesome, lovely wife, I have had a subscription to Paste for.. golly.. 3 years?

Paste is a super magazine. Beautifully designed, for those of you who are into that kind of thing, and chock full* of great new music**, interviews, editorials, and book, game, CD and movie reviews.


you can get a 1 year subscription for as little as a dollar. They're running a "name your own subscription price" deal, where you literally can name the price of $1, and get 11 issues of this stellar magazine.

It's brought a lot of joy into my life, so I'm just trying to pass it on. Go hit the website and do yourself a year-long favor, my friends. And while you're at it, sign someone up for a gift subscription. (But not me, 'cause I already get it.)

* Not just the regular full. Chock full.
** There's an honest-to-goodness sampler CD of new music in every issue (and sometimes short films and stuff, too).