Monthly Archives: November 2007

In it

Bitch PhD shares a way to meditate, and live in the moment:

As soon as you finish reading this paragraph,

Stop reading for a moment, and imagine that you are going to die in one minute. The last things you are going to experience are reading these [words], sitting in this room, thinking and feeling what you are thinking and feeling right now. This is the end of your life. . . . You have no time to write a note or make a phone call. All you can do is experience what is, right now. This is a very simple exercise, but it is quite profound. It brings you into presence very quickly. You stop fighting, you stop needing, you stop being concerned with physical comfort, you stop wanting, you stop achieving, and you stop maintaining. Enlightenment, attainment, realization all become meaningless. You are just present.

- Ken McLeod [via]

Most of the time it’s so hard for me to quiet myself — usually I end up thinking of a grocery list or some other “productive” thing I should be doing. I think this exercise above may help.

(of course, I can hear the detractors now lamenting the emptying process of meditation — thankfully, I’m not scared of demonic boogeymen any more.)

One more

Emma reminded me that there’s one other book I forgot to add to the list below:

The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins.

Keeping the "-rist" in Christmas

Thanks to Dixie, I’ve got a new holiday mission!

I’m actually sending out Christmas cards this year, along with a picture of the munchkin. I’ve got an abundance of both pictures and cards, so if you’re interested in receiving one, leave me a comment or email me your address.

The perils of bibliophilia

Everytime I go home for a visit, I swear to never pack so much, because the coming home part of the trip is always such a pain. Well, if I thought packing pre-baby was nuts, it’s been multiplied since Emma has entered our lives — which isn’t a bad thing, mind you, but it just means more bags and STUFF to lug around.

This last trip was no different. I struggled to pack only the clothes and items we needed, mainly because I knew I’d be going solo in the airport, toting a 23 pound wiggler.

Problems arouse when I visited Barnes and Noble four separate times (and who can’t visit a huge bookstore and NOT walk out with a few fine specimens) AND the Green Valley Book Fair was running while I was home (500,000+ titles!! CHEAP!).

Needless to say, my careful packing was thrown askew when I found myself with a few stacks of books to tote home. Rather than paying shipping and waiting for them to arrive in SK, I sucked it up and paid for an extra bag on the flight.

Now for the fellow book-lovers, here’s a list of the books I toted across North America:

  • Darwin’s Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life by Daniel Dennett
  • The Habit of Being by Flannery O’Connor
  • Everything Bad is Good For You: How Today’s Popular Culture is Actually Making Us Smarter by Steven Johnson
  • Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs
  • The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
  • The Autobiography of Margaret Sanger
  • Thank you For Arguing: What Aristotle, Lincoln, and Homer Simpson can Teach Us About the Art of Persuasion by Jay Heinrichs
  • The Dark Side: How Evangelical Teachings Corrupt Love and Truth by Valerie Tarico
  • I am America (And so can you!) by Stephen Colbert
  • The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs
  • How to Say it: Persuasive Presentations by Jeffery Jacobi
  • Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What do you see? by Bill Martin Jr
  • Beyond Choice: Reproductive Freedom in the 21st Century by Alexander Sanger
  • Whose Bible is it? A Short History of the Scriptures by Jaroslav Pelikan
  • The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God by Carl Sagan
  • Middlesex by Jeff Eugenides
  • Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
  • Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott
  • Public Speaking for Success by Dale Carnegie
  • English Grammar for Dummies by Geraldine Woods
  • The Art of Public Speaking by Stephen E. Lucas
  • Cultural Amnesia by Clive James

Now maybe this long list is why I’ve got such a backache?

The Lord works in mysterious ways

Roberts says God forced his resignation

TULSA, Okla. – Richard Roberts told students at Oral Roberts University Wednesday that he did not want to resign as president of the scandal-plagued evangelical school, but he did so because God insisted.

God told him on Thanksgiving that he should resign the next day, Roberts told students in the university’s chapel.

Ironically enough, God originally told Roberts to endure the accusations and stick it out as school president. Hmmm. Is God a flip-flopper, or is Roberts a manipulating crook?

Home sweet (freakin’ cold) home

We’re back from Virginia. Sorry for the lack of posting in these parts. At one point during my visit, there were 7 adults, 1 infant, and 2 cats sharing 900 sq. feet of house with ONE bathroom. Needless to say, the tight quarters and family bonding time sorta discouraged blogging. Oh, that, and toting a keyboard-hijacking baby who needed to be on or near me 24/7. (she’s a bit clingy these days)

Anyway, while I was visiting “home,” I started noticing all the subtle (and not so subtle) things that are different between the two countries I call home. A list:

  • Instead of abbreviating Christmas “X-Mas,” I saw several signs that read “Ch-Mas.” I can only think this is due to the whole “war on Christmas” and “taking the Christ out of Christmas” arguments that inevitably crop up this time of the year.
  • Back home in the South, no one looks at me funny when I call them “sir” or “ma’am.”
  • My parents cable stations had not one, but 3 or 4 “inspirational” channels. Morbid curiosity had me watching some Zionist John Hagee and the proverbial Jack Van Impe clips.
  • There are cars that drive around Virginia with the “Bush/Cheney ’04″ bumpersticker still proudly plastered on their automobile. Indeed, I was a stranger in a strange land.
  • When I left the airport in Richmond, I only needed a sweater. When I landed in Saskatoon, it was 40 degrees colder (literally), and my husband greeted me with a kiss and a snowsuit.

And that’s just off the top of my head, without mentioning the differences in food (mmm, sweet tea, biscuits and gravy, grits, …). It’s funny how the country I call “home” is more and more starting to feel foreign to me, while my adopted land is feeling like a better fit — well, without the minus 30 temps.

Happy Birthday, Berry.

A wish from afar (with the help of the Arrogant Worms):