Monthly Archives: February 2008

Happy leap day!

According to folk traditions, it’s a tradition that women can propose to men in leap years.

I remember Jerry telling me that after we first started dating, he looked up my name in a dictionary, only to find that one of its meanings was “the ensnarer.” Turns out I didn’t need to wait for a leap year in order to snag my catch!

The the impotence of proofreading

By Taylor Mali

Has this ever happened to you?
You work very, very horde on a paper for English clash
And still get a very glow raid (like a D or even a D=)
and all because you are the liverwurst spoiler in the whale wide word
Yes, Proofreading your peppers is a matter of the the utmost impotence.

This is a problem that affects manly, manly students all over the word.
I myself was such a bed spiller once upon a term
that my English torturer in my sophomoric year,
Mrs. Myth, she said I would never get into a good colleague.
And that’s all I wanted, that’s all any kid wants at that age
just to get into a good colleague.
Not just anal community colleague,
because I wouldn’t be happy at just anal community colleague.

I really need to be challenged, challenged menstrually
I needed a place that would offer me intellectual simulation,
I know this makes me sound like a stereo,
but I really wanted to go to an ivory legal colleague.
So if I did not improvement
or gone would be my dream of going to Harvard, Jail, or Prison
(in Prison, New Jersey).

So I got myself a spell checker
and figured I was on Sleazy Street.

But there are several missed aches
that a spell chukker can’t can’t catch catch.
For instant, if you accidentally leave out word
your spell exchequer won’t put it in you.
And God for billing purposes only
you should have serial problems with Tori Spelling
your spell Chekhov might replace a word
with one you had absolutely no detention of using.

Because what do you want it to douch?
It only does what you tell it to douche.
You’re the one with your hand on the mouth going clit, clit, clit.
It just goes to show you how embargo
one careless little clit of the mouth can be.

Which reminds me of this one time during my Junior Mint.
The teacher took the paper that I had written on A Sale of Two Titties
No I’m cereal, I am cereal
she read it out loud in front of all of my assmates.
It was the most humidifying experience of my life,
being laughed at pubically.

So do yourself a flavor and follow these two Pisces of advice:
One: There is no prostitute for careful editing.
And three: When it comes to proofreading,
the red penis your friend.

Spank you.

Praying as if there is a God

That’s the title of one of the essays in this week’s On Faith. The essay, written by author (and Jewish atheist) Geraldine Brooks, is one that I can relate to. She writes about finding herself whispering a “please help them” when hearing an ambulance cry or expressing a prayer of thanks when presented with something good. Her (and I) don’t believe that our prayers are actually being addressed to anyone, but they’re there, nonetheless.

Here’s how Brooks ends her essay:

And I like the [Jewish] prayers: the mournful, sinuous melodies and the hard plosive consonants of Hebrew words that sounded like a desert wind slapping against a goat hair tent. They’re my kind of prayers, mostly; little noticings of the good things in life, like the bread and wine, the first crescent of new moon, the dew on the grass in the morning.

Salman Rushdie once observed that there’s a God-shaped hole in modern life. I fill it by prayers that go wafting off to no fixed address, and by writing novels about people who believe in a way that remains mysterious, elusive and fascinating to me.

[whole essay]

Yes, what she said. I love how some authors are so good at reflecting your own inarticulate inside thoughts.

Prayer has always been an interesting topic for me to explore — both in my past as a member of faith and now in my days as a nonbeliever. I never felt like God ever responded (audibly or otherwise) to my prayers, and in some of my most ardent days as a believer, I can remember being more concerned about sounding churchy in my prayers than really focusing on contacting God. That’s not to say that I didn’t authentically pray. I remember staying up for late nights, desperately seeking help or guidance from above.

Eventually I started viewing prayer not as a magic request line to God, but as a way for people to express their care and love for someone else. To tell someone that you’re praying for them shows your care and concern. (Though the cynical part of me thinks that it’s also a bit of a cliche for some, something to say akin to “How are you?” types of greetings)

Who wouldn’t want to believe that a personal, divine being is attentively concerned with your day-to-day activities and worries? I can remember praying for things ranging from healing a family member with cancer, to praying for someone’s salvation, to the mundane elements of life — like praying for help to find my lost set of car keys. No request seemed too grand or too diminutive for me to whisper.

But the more I move away from faith, and learn more about science and the world we are a part of — NOW — the more I’m finding that I move away from an anthropocentric point of view, and see human beings as just another animal. And, if anything, I’m finding a greater appreciation for life, and our place in the world. I’ve made a point of starting to inform myself more about science, whether it’s through reading books, watching videos, or listening to different podcasts. I’m learning about some of the specifics of evolution, and I’m starting to see the connections we humans have to the rest of the world and its inhabitants. It’s pretty fascinating, but in learning about these connections, it’s also making me even more wary of the supernatural. I’m just not seeing the need to believe in the unexplainable when there is so much to explore around me — that can be explained!

And while the above paragraph may seem like a digression from my earlier musings on prayer, I don’t think I’m that far off the topic. Praying, and expecting a God to answer your individual requests, seems to me like such an anthropocentric act. R.K.’s blog I mentioned earlier this week has a post that sort of addresses this issue, in a way better than I could. Here’s one excerpt from one of his earlier posts:

Dear God, please lead me to the right job; as a little boy chases a ball toward a landmine. Thank you Lord for leading me to this great job opening, as this little boy, having had his legs blown off, stares down in terrified disbelief.

Sort of gives you a bit of a perspective, doesn’t it?

Well, I’m out of time to rant and rave. I’ll end my musings with this video, proving the power of prayer:

A bit of the tropics

I made no secret of my burning resentment envy of the vacation plans of my students over Reading Week break. One of them went to Cuba for a week, a destination I’m especially jealous of, if only because you can’t get to it from the US.

In class this morning I looked over my students and saw several of them more tanned and rested than their pallid instructor who spent the break in a basement with a 13 month old and a stack of papers. (but I’m not resentful! Much.)

Anyway, as class ended this morning, said Cuban-vacationing student came up to me and handed me a prescription pill bottle, full of sand from CUBA! He said, “I brought you a little of the beach.”

Too cool. A piece of Cuba is on my desk now.

Oscars in 60 seconds

For those of you who didn’t tune in last night (from its low low ratings, apparently there’s a lot of you), here’s the Oscar’s greatest moments of the night in a concise 60 seconds:

Now you know (and knowing’s half the battle!).

via

Quotable:

“A professor is someone who talks in someone else’s sleep.”

Bet you didn’t know that

Ten Top Trivia Tips about Atheists!

  1. South Australia was the first place to allow atheists to stand for parliament.
  2. Lightning strikes atheists over seven times every hour!
  3. Reindeer like to eat atheists.
  4. Atheists are often used in place of milk in food photography, because milk goes soggy more quickly than atheists.
  5. Atheists cannot be detected by infrared cameras!
  6. Atheists can sleep with one eye open!
  7. To check whether atheists are safe to eat, drop them in a bowl of water; rotten atheists will sink, and fresh atheists will float!
  8. Ancient Greeks believed earthquakes were caused by atheists fighting underground!
  9. Atheists are the world’s smallest mammal!
  10. Americans discard enough atheists to rebuild their entire commercial air fleet every 3 months.
I am interested in – do tell me about

via