Thursday, October 25, 2007

"The Office" quote of the week ... belated

Michael: "I declare BANKRUPTCY!"

Oscar: "Hey, I just wanted you to know that you can't just say the word bankruptcy and expect anything to happen."

Michael: "I didn't say it, I declared it."

even for the brevity of a smile

If Only for Once it were Still
By Rainer Maria Rilke
from Rilke's Book of Hours

If only for once it were still.
If the not quite right and the why this
could be muted, and the neighbor’s laughter,
and the static my senses make –
if all of it didn’t keep me from coming awake –

Then in one vast thousandfold thought
I could think you up to where thinking ends.

I could possess you,
even for the brevity of a smile,
to offer you
to all that lives,
in gladness.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

"I wear the facade of pseudo peace"

Our Church went on its bi-annual Church retreat this weekend. This year we stayed overnight at a monastery in Atchison, Kansas. What a beautiful time. Our treat was centered around a Henri Nouwen artice. During this weekend I came across a publication the Benedictine Sisters put, which is where I came across this poem that I wanted to share. I am drawn particularly to the part that says, "I wear the facade of pseudo peace, unaware of burgeoning new life pushing through worn-out securities." Anyways, check out the links and enjoy the poem.

Befriending Chaos
By Barbara Mayer, OSB
Atchison, Kansas

I hide chaos in the closets of
my mind,
fearing to reveal my inner
my lack of order, my inability
to control
the frayed edges of my
When confusion and
upset the smooth tempo of my
I wear the facade of pseudo
unaware of burgeoning new
pushing through worn-out securities

Just as the universe evolves
with both
order and turbulence, I too
must embrace
the tsunamic upheavals of my
knowing they contain
opportunities for transformation.

"The Office" quote of the week

"It appears that the website has become alive. This happens to computers and robots sometimes. Am I scared of a stupid computer? Please! The computer should be scared of me. I have been salesman of the month for thirteen of the last twelve months. You head me right. I did so well last February corporate gave me two plaques in lieu of a pay raise." - Dwight K. Schrute

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

"When the rich wage war it's the poor who die"

Here's a new Linkin Park song. Pretty good social critique at some points.

Linkin Park
“Hands Held High”

Turn my mike up louder I got to say something
Light weights step to the side when we come in
Feel it in your chest the syllables get pumping
People on the street they panic and start running
Words on loose leaf sheet complete coming
I jump in my mind and summon the rhyme, I'm dumping
Healing the blind I promise to let the sun in
Sick of the dark ways we march to the drum and
Jump when they tell us that they wanna see jumping
Fuck that I wanna see some fists pumping
Risk something, take back what's yours
Say something that you know they might attack you for
Cause I'm sick of being treated like I have before
Like it's stupid standing for what I'm standing for
Like this war's really just a different brand of war
Like it doesn't cater the rich and abandon poor
Like they understand you in the back of the jet
When you can't put gas in your tank
These fuckers are laughing their way to the bank and cashing the check
Asking you to have compassion and have some respect
For a leader so nervous in an obvious way
Stuttering and mumbling for nightly news to replay
And the rest of the world watching at the end of the day
In their living room laughing like "what did he say?"

Amen, amen, amen, amen, amen

In my living room watching but I am not laughing
Cause when it gets tense I know what might happen
World is cold the bold men take action
Have to react or get blown into fractions
Ten years old it's something to see
Another kid my age drugged under a jeep
Taken and bound and found later under a tree
I wonder if he had thought the next one could be me
Do you see the soldiers they're out today
They brush the dust from bullet proof vests away
It's ironic at times like this you pray
But a bomb blew the mosque up yesterday
There's bombs in the buses, bikes, roads
Inside your market, your shops, your clothes
My dad he's got a lot of fear I know
But enough pride inside not to let that show
My brother had a book he would hold with pride
A little red cover with a broken spine
On the back, he hand-wrote a quote inside
When the rich wage war it's the poor who die
Meanwhile, the leader just talks away
Stuttering and mumbling for nightly news to replay
And the rest of the world watching at the end of the day
both scared and angry like "what did he say?"

Amen, amen, amen, amen, amen

With hands held high into a sky so blue
as the ocean opens up to swallow you.

Monday, October 08, 2007

holiness: habit and attitude

It’s a rare occasion (I suppose unfortunately) when work, church, discipleship, school, and outside reading all come together in the form of common theme. I call it the perfect storm. I suppose it would be most helpful if I began with a story about something that happened to me at work as a sort of catalyst.

Mr. Jones rolled up onto the valet ramp to check into the hotel. As a very large man, he was unable to walk on his own, thus requiring the assistance of a wheel chair. He is also one of those people who have become very comfortable with asking for help when he needs it, which was quite often as many things about coming to a hotel were difficult for him (elevators, etc). After about fifteen minutes, and with the help of myself and his two friends, we were able to get his luggage onto a bell cart and Mr. Jones into a wheel chair. We proceeded into the lobby to get him checked in. I was then instructed that I would have to assist him up to the room first and then come back down and take up his luggage, an unusual two step process. When I got to the room I had to adjust some of the furniture so that he could maneuver his wheel chair. At one point he asked if I might untie his shoes. When I left he took about five minutes to commend to hotel regarding its handicap accessibility. He wanted a manager to call up to his room so that he could personally say how happy he was. All of this took about a half hour.

Let me shift gears. I seem to always come back to G. Simon Harak’s Virtuous Passions. Harak’s argument is that we are morally responsibility for our passions (how we feel; our affections; our desires). He says that many often neglect to consider that an aspect of virtue ethics is the formation of our desires. In as much as we are to act rightly, we are to desire rightly.

Back to my story, and you might intuit where I am going with all this. As far as my actions go, I did everything Mr. Jones asked. Thus, I acted rightly in assisting him. However, as far as my passions, my desires went, I did all of his requests with the wrong attitude. I didn’t want to help him and, in fact, became quite frustrated with the whole scenario. Of course, realizing this about myself, I then became frustrated with how I was feeling; angry that I would ever not want to help someone who needed it, particularly one such as Mr. Jones. To top the whole situation off, he tipped me two dollars. So, now I am frustrated about receiving such a small tip, to which, of course, I am then more frustrated with myself about feeling that way about a tip. Do you see where I am going with this?

All of this happened the day before our pastor preached a sermon on entire sanctification, which has everything to do with habit and attitude. Entire Sanctification or Christian perfection, is about having our habits and attitudes rightly ordered toward our good and true end in God (Revelation 4). Also interesting was that in our discipleship hour in Church we talked about James 4. Read it for yourself.

In the end, I was reminded through Mr. Jones that holiness has everything to do with habit and attitude; a good reminder that I am indeed a long way off but steadily moving toward to a good and true end in God.

Friday, October 05, 2007

'The Office' quote of the night

“Everyone always wants new things. Everybody likes new inventions, new technology. People will never be replaced by machines. In the end, life and business are about human connections and computers are about trying to murder you in a lake. And to me the choice is easy.” - Michael Scott

Thursday, October 04, 2007

"I hate so much about the things you choose to be"

I was commenting to someone just a few days ago that working at a hotel has made me a bit more cynical and definitely more sarcastic. (Don’t worry; I’m not going off the deep end). However, I have realized that there are a few things the people say and do that drives me absolutely insane.

First, when someone walks up to me when I am a bellman/valet and addresses me as “buddy.” Just don’t! I’m not your buddy, especially when it is quite obvious that you have ulterior motives.

Second, when someone throws their keys at me as they walk inside saying that they’ll be right back. Don’t throw your keys at me; I just might throw them back!

Third, and this is a co-worker issue. When someone leaves a note for the whole staff and signs it “thanks kids.” Serious!? All you’re doing is trying to over compensate for the fact that you’re the oldest worker on staff by being subversively condescending. No one buys it and no one likes it!

So there are just a few of the things that I have realized drive me absolutely insane. I hope you enjoyed our time together. Feel free to leave a few of your own in the comment section.