Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Carbon Fingerprint Checks

Today, at work, I intended to lessen my carbon footprint while hopefully also improving oxygen production and saving the amount of sun protecting shade in our world. I’m not an environmentalist, but I wanted to do my part, you know? I needed to print a 52-page document that required proof-reading. Doing my part, I decided to print it double-sided. Since my office lacked a duplex printer, I had to print the odd pages first, then the even pages. But, when I flipped the first 26 sheets and put them back in the paper drawer, Mister Hewlett Packard decided to print a co-worker’s print job that had been waiting in the queue. This meant one side of my document was the procedural guide I was trying to proofread, and the other was someone else’s equally important spreadsheet. I ended up having to reprint everything, but out of my impatience and frustration I hit print without selecting “odd pages only”. So this time I printed all 52 sheets single-sided. And as I witnessed this travesty unfold; I became vehemently angry with thoughts of rage and destruction. And this raised my heart rate a few beats and temperature several degrees at least. So, not only did I use 78 sheets of precious white Northwestern 8.5 x 11 inch paper to print a 52-page document, which probably called for the felling of 13 trees, thus reducing the shade for a certain square segment of forest, subsequently resulting in a higher average temperature and environmental disaster for the squirrels living in said forest, but I also offset my normally cool composition and relatively unmoody carbon footprint. As I pondered the aftermath of my fateful decision, I also noticed I have two heat generating, power sucking LCD flat-panel monitors on my desk that allow me to do more work on my digital desktop without having to print a lot of documents. I am the cause of Global Warming.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Ungraceful Dance

An Ungraceful Dance
(Plagiarized thoughts compiled and arranged so ungracefully by Robert Rossow)

And the dance is not as graceful as we might want…

My pulses bound in exultation. And in my heart once more unfold the senses of awe and inspiration: The life, the tears, and love untold.

She drinks quietly from her image. She drinks what a lover would drink feeling dazed, searching it feeling mistrust

I said, “What’s your name?” She turned as she answered and I kissed her clumsily and missed her mouth. She said, “We needn’t, you know. We’re grown up people...”

Her smile bloomed and she fell into his arms and he hugged her tight and to hell with every (one) in the world she thought

Ahead of us everything is shimmering. The first night we try to find our bearing,

Then he looked keenly at her and he felt the fragrance and dampness of the flowers and immediately looked around him fearfully

“I gave him my heart, and he took it and pinched it to death, and flung
it back to me. People feel with their hearts…and since he has destroyed
Mine, I have not power to feel for him…”

Too late in the wrong rain, they come together whom their love parted:
The windows pour into their heart and the doors burn in their brain.

“I have laughed, in bitterness and agony of heart, at the contrast between what I seem and what I am! And Satan laughs at it!”

And if anyone knows the pain of love unreturned, it must be God

I panicked. I shouldn’t have left her. What had I been thinking?

“Yes”, I said. “I was raving. You had made me angry. But I had thought that all loves alike were eager to clear the things they loved of vile charges brought against it

“I am nothing special. Of this I am sure. I am a common man with common thoughts, and I've lead a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten, but I've loved another with all my heart and, to me, this has always been enough.”

Together they finished changing the bandages. She winced at seeing the cuts and felt tears coming again. They slipped down her cheeks like a cleansing oil and he let her cry softly

..so we learn to dance with the One who made us and it is difficult dance to learn, because its steps are foreign.

1(Donald Miller, Journey Through Painted Deserts)
2(Aleksandr Pushkin)
3 (Rilke, Woman at a mirror)
4(The Comedians, Graham Greene).
5(The Tortilla Curtain).
6(Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front)
7(Anton Chekhov, Lady with a dog)
8 (Bronte, Wuthering Heights)
9(Dylan Thomas, on a wedding anniversary)
10(The Scarlet Letter)
11(Erwin McManus, Soul Cravings)
12(Joyce Meyer, The Penny)
13…(C.S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces)
14(the Notebook)
15(Ted Dekker, When Heaven Weep)
16(Donald Miller, Journey Through Painted Deserts)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Effervescent Two-Step Warms the Birth of Winter

So, we walked in the late autumn rain, searching for some random activity or dodgy place to hang out. We walked along the “river” front, which was really a canal, and then the biting wind drove us back to the plaza where we sought warmth in a giant three story bookseller, where we browsed and talked about books and issues until thawing out fairly well. Not finding the Irish Pub, we saddled and mounted the outback and drove south to find a jazz dive we had read about. It turned out to be a rather seedy looking establishment situated in a strip-mall, so we drove back toward the canal, and parked at the Intercontinental, hoping to find some more refined jazz playing in the piano room. We did find it, after crashing a wedding reception on the top floor. My full bladder had been harassing me for an hour, so using the bride and groom’s rented facilities seemed like the thing to do at the time. The Jazz band cranked their tones quite loudly and the ambiance was not so pleasing, so we backtracked to the car which was nowhere to be found. With a Knightrider-like mind of his own, KITT had apparently hidden himself in a different parking lot. I felt like David Hasselhof, but without the pecs. Finally finding the car, we parked again at the plaza, where we asked some pedestrians to point us to the local Irish Pub. When we arrived at said destination there was a headlining band playing Bon Jovi covers, and I grimaced at the lack of correlation between the sounds of Ireland and the wail of 1980’s New Jersey. Eventually, after wandering for another decade of minutes with aimless purpose, we ended up in the last two available seats of this supposedly trendy little martini bar-looking night spot. The lonely stools sat adjacent to the ever opening drafty door, but provided a spider’s eye view of every vampire that ventured in and out at this later hour. It served to fuel the gaps and commercial breaks of conversation with interesting dialog. A minimum drink ordinance being in place at this establishment, we sampled some Martinis, a pastime about which I was ill-informed because of my sheltered life or simple lack of class. We talked for hours, it seemed, as the autumn suddenly became winter and snow fell outside the picture window in large flaky abundance blending the city streets into a growing blanket of blasé. We were blending less and less in that effervescent and cacophonic rhythm of a crowd. Returned to the electrically heated seats of the Outback we began to drive toward nowhere, having intentionally failed to pick a destination. After losing ourselves in the city we ended up downtown and I showed her some of the historic sights of KC’s jazzossphere. We parked in Power & Light and over a Guinness sat at an extremely back table finally having the opportunity to listen to an Irish duo sing everything from emerald isle classics to Rhianna’s “Under My Umbrella”. It was quite different than I had expected. Especially watching the natives attempt the River Dance, which I guess is not unlike a fancy two-step. Which is something this evening…had become.