for those who are in or around sane

Friday, May 26

bubble wrap, part II

It has been overly-long folks… I apologize for my delay of Part II, but I actually had things to do, people to see and food to eat (including an incredible batch of tuna noodle casserole a la littlebmouse).

Some folks have asked me where I’m going with this… I’m not entirely sure. I do know that it stemmed from a long talk about living and learning. How do you use what you have learned in your life to serve you best in the future? The idea of wrapping yourself in your sins, lessons and guilt like bubble wrap came up. At first it seemed like a grand plan. Swath yourself in the familiar, the past. After all, history is doomed to repeat itself if it does not learn from itself.

But I don’t think that’s a very positive way to go through life. It constantly hinders your steps and makes you second guess well-thought-out decisions; it creates insecurities and harbors suspicion. After a long while of contemplating an alternative, I was shocked to find what I did.

It’s a bible verse. I guess, in order for me to explain what I mean by an alternative to bubble wrap, I should have you read it (please?):

Ephesians 6
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.
12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,
15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
19 Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel,
20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

The letter to the Ephesians uses a metaphor to get it’s point across. It takes the main components of a Roman Soldier’s armor and applies them to spiritual warfare. I am game to apply this metaphor to psychological and emotional warfare too. why you ask? Well it says right here: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against … the powers of this dark world”.

I know I’m asking for a lecture here about my theology and hermeneutics, but please bear with me, strictly on a quasi-surface level, ok?

Instead of padding yourself with something soft and ultimately pliable, poppable and ugly, why not take the essentials with you as well-placed, well-formed armor? Armor is not infallible, but it exists to protect your vitals – the things you need in battle ie internal organs, head, arms and feet. Roman armor was designed to be light and strong in order to allow the legions to move quickly.

In this verse, a piece of armor represents a form of defense against, what we’ll simplify to as evil. I’ve read and heard numerous sermons on this particular verse, and how each piece of armor applies nicely to a specific spiritual weapon. I need not go into that right now.

What’s important is that it’s not bubble wrap. It’s holding your head up and striding forward. Smiling in the face of resistance. Comically, it’s looking before you cross the street – not donning an orange reflective vest and flagging cars to stop. Realistically, it’s taking the pain you have suffered from one predicament, reconciling with it and putting it on a shelf to look at when you need to – not putting it in a bag to carry on your back for eternity.

Yes, there may be a moment of weakness where you make a bad decision because you forgot to look on the shelf at your lesson/pain/guilt before you leapt, but that’s how we continue to learn. To err is human, to forgive is divine. To be a better human, we must experience these errs and walk forward. Put another stripe on your shield and press on, lightly.

Friday, May 12

bubble wrap, part I

Ouch, that hurt. Hmm, I’m bleeding… can I have a band-aid, please? Thanks… hmm, stings a little… there, all better…

[peels band-aid off] OUCH! That HURT! Dammit. Ew… little gummy fuzzies. Hmm… looks ok though. shweet scar!

Been there, done that… right? everyone has. What about emotionally, though? ever find yourself applying a good cleansing dose of alcohol on an emotional wound, wrapping it in self-loathing and picking at the edges for far too long, only to have the whole thing ripped away with the force of Severe Hangover plus Loathing?

It’s not very pleasant to get cut or bruised or broken in any way, is it? well…

There is one solution. Wrap yourself in bubble wrap. Seriously! Take one of those big tubes of soft, crinkly padding and wind it around yourself, again and again, until all that’s left is your big dippy grin in a crease of plastic.

You can do this and walk around town, go to work, watch movies and hell, even play ping pong without fear of breaking a bone, or snagging a toenail. I’m sure it works wonders for the minimally accident prone.

Then again, you couldn’t really play ping pong b/c your arms would be all stiff and sticking out straight. And that would probably affect your work load too. plus, your friends might find you a bit skunky as plastic breeds nice smelly body odor.

I guess I don’t recommend the above suggestion. If not that then… what?

Well, there’s always emotional bubble-wrap right? I mean, your outsides are precious and all, but the wounds that hurt the most and take longest to heal are on the inside, right?

So sit down, make a list of all of your wounds. Gather up the bandaging from those wounds, and paste it all over your psyche. Use thick glue. this oughta work…

But it’s hard to think straight when you’ve got all this stuff on your mind. Your vision is clouded b/c the bandages sink behind your eyelids. Your head feels heavy and quite frankly, your friends think you’re skunky b/c your attitude stinks.

Hmm… I’m not being very helpful am i?

Friday, May 5

another boring day in the life of Superchica

I have nothing of quality to post on my blog today, ok… ok… I admit, I have had nothing of much quality on the blog for a while. This is entirely my fault. I’m a bit dry as of late. It’s spring, the flowers are blooming (and my allergies too), and I’ve been editing the CHP newsletter (of which there will be a link to, shortly...). yeah, those are lousy excuses. But what can I say? I’m lame sometimes. So today I’ll tell the story of a co-worker:

On a nice, sunny day, Superchica was working hard. She diligently planned meetings, took phone calls and answered emails. Then all of a sudden! Out of nowhere! Someone bought her flowers! a beautiful basket to say “thank you for your ferocious attention to detail and sweet phone-voice”. Oh, she was so happy! But, there was no name attached to this beautiful gift of color. Oh what was she to do? Who was this admirer?

After hours of screening her emails and inquiring around the cubes next to her, she had almost given up hope. Her heart soared when she glanced up at the perky blooms, but alas, her benefactor remained anonymous.

Then, a tiny “knock-knock” came from behind… “who is it??!!” said the startled superheroin.

“down here! it’s me! your admirer!” came a squeaky voice, no more than knee-high.

“oh, Gnome, it’s you!” and she jumped from her perch to the floor beside him. She threw her arms around the stout shoulders, “I so hoped it was you!”

“come away with me, Superchica! This place isn't good for the likes of you!” and he swept her away…

That was the last I saw of Superchica. Sometimes I miss her soothing phone-voice coming across the cube crack. Sometimes I wish the gnome would have picked me to give the flowers to…but just last week, I got this photo in the mail, and I knew everything was right in the world!

Thursday, May 4

this month, productivity was up

In collaboration with lowriter, here are my April picks!

graphic novels:
Wolverine: Origins #1
Daniel Way & Steve Dillion

as the title implies, this is the story of the origin of Wolverine. a few great twists and unexpected happenings... amazing artwork (thank you digital age) and pretty good dialogue. i enjoyed this quick read. it was definitely more of a comic book than a graphic novel, and it only took me 2 hours to read and savor it, but i definitely enjoyed this little romp. if you have any attraction to Wolverine at all, please check it out, b/c it's always fun to see where things started.

V for Vendetta
Alan Moore & David Lloyd

the movie i throughly enjoyed, the graphic novel i only so-so enjoyed. first of all, the artwork is (i'm sorry) wretched. (thank you 80's "realism"). and i dont think i would have understood the storyline or nuances if i hadnt seen the film first. it jumped all over the place and didnt really have much streamlining to it. it leaves a lot for you to assume, and it doesnt have the supercool "V" speech i posted about earlier. but, it was a challenge, and since i knew i liked the plot, i went with it. i recommend this for curious comic peeps.

A Dirty Job
Christopher Moore

in true Moore fashion, this was not a let down: witty, clever, morbid, irrational and spastic. i loved it. especially since i got it on audiobook. the guy who reads for Moore's books is fantastic - you can totally see him doing the reading in the studio wearing a hawiian shirt, clam diggers and birkenstocks. well, i'd like to keep that impression, anyway... After the death of his wife (immediately after the birth of their child) mis-hap, Beta Male Charlie Asher finds out he's a Death Merchant - a soul harvester. He's got quite the cast of characters behind him in his adventures including his adoring daughter, the goth clerk in his resale shop, two dualing Eastern Nation old lady tennants and a sprinkling of underworld figures. you really have to read it to fully appreciate it. i could write an entire novel as a review. compared to his other works, this isnt quite as shiney, but in the realm of, this is totally worth the read.

regular old book:
Hangover Square
Patrick Hamilton

When i originally picked this book up at Micawber's in St. Paul, i was drawn to it's name and noir-esque plot line: George Harvey Bone lives a dank, circular, self-destructive life in Earl's Court, pre-war London. he doggedly follows the beautiful, sadistic Netta and her entourage around. this little clique takes out their low-class, high ambition, no money frustrations out on his faults: he's big, slow and a bit dim. Bone's not entirely dim though - he suffers from dual personality disorder, so half the time he's up and running, taking the abuses of his "friends", and half the time he's shut off from reality, in a state of his own mind where he is plotting to kill Netta. this book was actually written in the early 1900's, but has amazing ties to life as a 20-something today. listless wanderlust, alcoholism and boredom. money, revenge and schemes. love? maybe... but watching Bone go through the motions, you begin to wonder which personality is really HIM. btw, the ending is perfect. rarely do you get such a satisfactory ending from this type of book. recommended for anyone.

i'm always looking to increase my book list, so if you have any recommendations yourself, please let me know!

Tuesday, May 2

cliche? who cares...

Fate, karma and the food gods favored me last night. My roomie surprised me by presenting me with Cubs tickets. It was truly a golden moment. I bundled up, grabbed an umbrella, and plopped the borrowed blue hat on my head. Off we went, in the minor drizzle, to the major game.

My precious little Jacque Jones did us right. the hot dogs were mighty tasty. And the beer guy kept frequenting our aisle (perhaps it was the large tip I left him?). and, of course, we won. Against Pittsburgh. Glorious moments abound!

I really don’t know what else to say about this. I was perfectly happy for a good few hours last night. not much else mattered but the lay of the field, the rain staving off and the occasional hunger pang being satisfied by perfect ball park food and drink. Hell, our seats were even decent enough for b to catch a pix on her phone. All was right in the world for 3 hours.

B & M seats

ohnho seats (he's got a better camera phone...)