Reunion, Work, Wolf’s Rain

Oooohhhh, chiasma!

OK, here we go again. I was almost done typing this post when: Firefox… crashed. o_O
I still can’t believe it. Firefox doesn’t crash! That’s not supposed to happen! I think I’ve got a bad device driver floating around in my system that’s messing with other programs’ memory. Sometimes my computer just randomly crashes in the uber-WinXP-bluescreen. Not much that can be done. Just a little blue and white memory dump and down we go. This can be triggered by iTunes, it seems, but I definitely wasn’t using iTunes when Firefox… *gulp* crashed. What’s going on here!? The Quality Feedback thingy said it was a Win32 exception. Gee, that’s a surprise.

So, back to the post, and this time with multiple draft saves. Curse you, Win32-scuuuuum!

Reunion was a really good time! Ms. Grady’s extended family was just as open and welcoming as her immediate, and that made the weekend overall very relaxing and fun. We had some good devo’s, played games, and of course, ate a lot! We also got to talk to her aunt and uncle who are missionaries to Fiji about possibly coming to help them some time in the next year. We’ll see what kind of doors God opens up.

On the internship front, it turns out that both of my leading professors are out of town for at least the rest of this week. One is in the UK on a speaking tour! In the mean time, they want me to get familiar with some modeling software. Hopefully I’ll hear from them soon about how to get a hold of said software and start “tutorializing”. If nothing else, I’ve got a chemical safety seminar today from 2:00-4:00.

Last night I went to GSM’s to watch the second Wolf’s Rain DVD. As he would say, we had KAT. I must say that the series is unfolding very nicely. I was worried that I wouldn’t understand what was going on, but when you watch all of the episodes and pay attention to details, it all makes pretty good sense. I think I’ll try to join him at Go Club after church Wednesday night.

I also got to chat with some of my suite-mates last night. (Does anyone know a better term than “suite-mates”? It sounds kind of girly, like “sweet-mates”. I need something more manly, like “roomies”.) They seem like good guys. I also went grocery shopping for myself for the first time. (I mean for real food, not chips/salsa and hummus). I spend $70, but I got a lot of food, and hopefully it will last me for a while. Rice-Roni, Tuna-Helper, and PBJ, here I come!

Before I went to bed I read the first chapter of the Mark of the Lion series. It was really good, though that may have to do with the fact that I haven’t gotten to the mushy stuff, yet. We’ll see! Ms. Grady and I have a deal that I’ll read the Mark of the Lion if she’ll read the Wheel of Time. Not a bad trade, in my opinion. Especially if the rest of this book is as good as the first chapter.

Once a Commodore…

Well, I’m moved in here at Vandy. It was actually a very quick and painless process. I’m in a suite with 6 or 7 other guys, which is pretty nice. Everyone’s been friendly so far. We share a bathroom and common area with a full kitchen, and the view isn’t too bad (12th floor), but I can’t say that I like living on West End Ave. I have to walk about 1/4 mile to the parking garage, but I guess I could use the exercise. Tomorrow I go and meet my overseeing professors.

Tomorrow I also go to Searcy to meet Ms. Grady’s family. I’m a little nervous, but hopefully it will be a relaxing time, all in all.

Tonight the GSM and I watched the first DVD of Wolf’s Rain. I was very impressed, and I’m excited about watching the rest of the series with him. It’ll be good bonding time. Speaking of bonding time, we went and played Phase 10 with the Geigers last night. I think we all had a great time, but I might just be saying that because I won. It’s good to see them married. They seem relaxed and in their own element. It’s like there was something wrong or unnatural before that’s been put in the right place now. I can tell they’re happy together, which makes me happy, too.

Lima Beans, Sith Lords

We went to see Star Wars yesterday! I must say that the movie was intense and very enjoyable, despite some of the rough dialogue. I think the thing I’m most in love with in this series (besides the music) is really the story. How does a “good” democracy willingly turn itself into an evil Empire? In their less selfish moments, Anakin and Palpatine really feel like what they’re doing is for the good of all. They’re bringing Peace and Order to the Republic. Then how does a good person like Anakin become our cultural symbol of evil? Even he felt like what he was doing was “right”. I don’t want to get into an ethics dialogue, but this movie (actually the whole series) can make you think, if you’ll let it. So will The Interpreter. If you haven’t seen that, go! It wasn’t grisly or anything, unlike Hotel Rwanda, but I found that it left me in about the same thoughtful state and mood. Very Good Stuff ™.

I’m eating a bowl of Lima Beans. I love beans. Pinto beans, navy beans, lima beans, black-eyed peas… They’re just so good!

Yum!

Cars, Preachers, and Historical-cultural Context

We finished changing out the motor yesterday! It has a bad oil leak, but otherwise it seems to run pretty well. I don’t know if I’d want to drive it to Nashville, but I think it will work nicely to get the Shaman to and from work.

Did I mention he’s working at the movie theater? I guess telling you that is really his job. I’ll leave it to him to blog about.

I just finished my Saba report. Sending off thank-you letters should be a piece of cake, now!

We had a guest speaker at church this morning. Everything he said was hard-core CoC, and for the most part correct, but there were a few things that really grated on my nerves. I think the biggest one (I’m not exaggerating the wording, here) was that God would fling anyone into hell who tried to change one iota of His law. That meant ideas like rejecting the 6-step plan, worshipping with musical instruments, and trying to cross sectarian barriers. While the bible is pretty clear what a serious offense it is to alter His word, there’s a big difference between trying to change the word of God and developing an understanding of the word of God that is different from somebody else’s. I guess it’s the Modernisitic assumption that “we’ve got it all figured out, and if you don’t see it our way, your evil and perverse.” After all, the bible lays out a clear, culture-neutral plan for how God wants his people to do church, right? All we have to do is follow the obvious blueprint, right? And look here: we did that and we got the American Churches of Christ.

I’m bothered that people can actually believe we sprang out of nothing like that. That is, if you took the bible and plopped it down in any culture and let rational people look at the “blueprint” that you’d get churches that look just like ours. WE HAVE A HERITAGE! We came from somewhere. A history. We used to BE the denominations we rail against now, and that has shaped the way we practice Christianity. We definitely do not practice it the same way the Christians did in the first century. I’m not even sure if we could or should. I believe that we cannot extract ourselves from our surrounding culture, geography, and history. It shapes us, and there’s nothing we can do about it. That said, I am grateful that we’ve tried to take a fresh look at our practices in light of God’s word, I just hope we never get to the point that we feel we’ve perfected our understanding. That causes us pride and hinders us from loving those who are also seeking God’s will, but do not have the same mindset we do.

I guess I’m rambling at this point. Don’t get me wrong about this brother. He has done a LOT for the church, and he had some very edifying things to say to us. The comments I disagreed with really just provide a spring-board for me to rant in this blog, which is a thing I haven’t gotten to do for a while. It’s good to get stuff like that out.

You want update? I’ve got your UPDATE right here…

Let’s see what’s new in the Gourd’s life!

um…

Well, I single-handedly managed to screw up internet access for my entire family the other day. Who knew that plugging in a wireless USB adapter would trash my PPP stack? I stayed up till 3:30 the other night trying to fix this thing and nothing is working, including uninstalling the drivers, reinstalling the ISP, and scouring the hard drive and registry for any remnants of the adapter. And yes, I rebooted, too. DOH! If you don’t know what all that means, it means I’m in a pretty hefty pickle. I’m waiting on a CD to come down from the Go Stone so I can re-install Windows. Until then, my parents’ computer will not have internet.

Watch out for the Motorola WU830G! It does weird stuff…

Now the astute may ask at this point, “but if the Gourd has lost internet, how is he posting?” Luckily, NetZero is working on my laptop. (I’ve never plugged that card into my laptop.) Yay! I’ll just have to uninstall all the Spy-/Ad-ware when I leave…

BLAH BLAH BLAH. What a boring post this is…

The engine is coming along nicely. At this point, after several hours of work, we’ve gotten the old one out, switched over some components, and the new motor is now sitting in the chassis. All that’s left is to finish re-connecting everything, fill up the fluids, and let’er rip! Tomorrow we will find out the answer to the big question: Will this new engine from the junk-yard actually run? It’s an exciting time!

I have a cell-phone charger on the way. $1.50 on eBay. Sweet.

Today we went to spend some time with Grandma and Granddad. They are both doing very well, and the Facetious One even took us all out for lunch at Chili’s. Very nice, very nice…

I guess that’s the extent of my life right now. I’ll be glad when things calm down a little bit so I can have some quality “me” time. Probably not until Monday… Good night, everybody.

Sunny FL

We are back in Sunny Florida! Land of… flat land. It’s nice to be home with family and relax for a while.

The wedding was quite beautiful and I think everyone had an enjoyable time. Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. G! Those last few days were extremely hectic. It turns out that between Jacob, Stella, and myself, we had way too much stuff to fit in our cars, so I ended up leaving pretty much everything I own at Go Stone’s apartment. I’ll pick it all up in a few weeks when I go to Vandy for my internship.

I went to the dentist today and unfortunately I need to get a filling. More importantly, I need to have 4 wisdom teeth pulled. 😦 I’ll be getting that done before I go back to Nashville.

I also washed the car today to remove the mysterious “Nashville gunk”, and I’m going to try to start on my Saba thank-you letters. Jacob and I just got back from Walmart where he bought a cake mix and I bought some underwear. (I can live without most things for a few weeks, but underwear is just too important.)

Dad’s replacing the engine in the Nissan, and I think Jacob and I will be helping him with that for the next few days. It looks like fun, as long as we can remember where everything goes!

That’s pretty much the extent of my life right now. I would pick up some reading, but I don’t have many books. I’ll figure something out. By the way, if you try to call my cell phone, it won’t work. Yep. Definitely left the charger at GSM’s. DOH!

Enjoy your summer, everyone!