Friday, January 29, 2010

Some people have no imagination.

I'm going to see Avatar today for the second time. I'm sure you've heard about these people who are depressed leaving the movie because they can't go live on that planet with the blue guys. I sorta get that. But why Avatar?

My theory is that for many people, this is the first time they've ever felt like they disappeared into a fantasy. I felt like that too, but I feel that way often. I have ever since I was a kid.

When I was young, I wanted to be a superhero when I grew up. I haven't quite gotten over that. I spent an entire summer making superhero costumes out of paper bags. I used one for each foot, cut holes in one to make a shirt, cut holes in another to make pants, and improvised the rest. I had one for every member of the Super Friends.

I know I've been through this before, but I still can't shake the feeling that I'm just one industrial accident away from my dream! Consider this guy....

One day he's just your average teenager with average problems. The next...BLAMMO!

He's the amazing Spiderman! Or what about this joker?

One day he's your average working stiff. The next...BAZOOM!!

He's the incredible Hulk! (Oh, poor me! I'm doomed to walk the Earth with this totally awesome thing inside me!")

I could go on. The Fantastic Four - right place, right time. Captain America? Genetic experiment gone RIGHT. Then there's always the natural route. You know this guy, right?

Batman has no super powers. He has a few high tech gadgets, sure, but mostly he's just got skillz. And sadly, this is probably the route I'm gonna have to go. It's not like you can count on a meteor landing on you, or rogue gamma rays hitting you, or anything like that. I've got a ways to go. But hey, I lost four pounds this week. I'm on my way!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


I've been putting this off, cause there's a lot of raw emotion surrounding it right now...

The main thing going on in my life right now is waiting to hear from schools. I've applied to four, and they each have their strong points.

1. Baylor University

Located way out in the middle of nowhere in Waco, TX, Baylor offers a university-based Ph.D. in religion. That's good, because it opens a lot of doors that a seminary degree wouldn't. But what sets this program apart is that it's the only one I know where most of the faculty are Christians with generally conservative, orthodox theology. It would be really nice to not spend the next 5-7 years debating the literal resurrection of Christ. Then again, I'm not afraid of a little debate. If you've been reading this blog for more than a week, you already know that.

2. Boston University

This is the only seminary-based program to which I'm applying, for reasons stated above. It's a Th.D. program, which is the same thing as a Ph.D. except that it's intended to prepare people to do scholarly work that will benefit the Church, as opposed to scholarly work that primarily benefits people that like to read long theoretical papers about the theoretical existence of God. Now you'd think there'd be more demand for the former than the latter. Not so! But I digress.

3. Fordham University

Located right in the heart of The Bronx, Fordham is a Jesuit school that has a professor who has really impressed me. It's a great school too. Please note that I've decided The Bronx should have a capitalized "The." I visited there a few months ago, and what I saw was exactly what you'd expect to see. If I woke up on a street corner there with no memory of the previous day, I think I'd recognize it even if I'd never been there before. Does that make sense? It does to me.

4. Marquette University

Marquette University is NOT located in Marquette, Wisconsin, as one might expect. It's in Milwaukee. Realizing that most people never get a chance to see the great metropolis that is Milwaukee, let me describe it for you. It's cold. Very cold. As I write this post, the temperature in Milwaukee is 19 degrees, and the wind chill is 8. And that's normal. You'd have to go South a little to get to Vancouver. That being said, it's kind of a nice town, as long as you have a parka and a dog sled team. Marquette is another Roman Catholic school, which you'd think would be a turn-off for me. Actually, to me that means their theology can't get too weird because they're under ecclesiastic authority. Marquette would be fun. Like any of these schools, it'd be a wonderful place to study.

So where are we now? We're waiting. Hopefully we'll hear from all of these schools in the next few weeks, or at least by March. We've already sort of heard from one. Last week Baylor sent out interview invitations to twenty candidates from across the country and the world. I didn't get one. That leaves three schools, and to be honest, any one of them would be great. For some reason, I'm feeling Boston right now. But I don't know. Marquette would be great. Fordham would be great.

So if you want to pray for me, pray that God will guide me to the right school, and that God will guide the right school to my application. I'd appreciate it.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


I've been taking a little break from blogging, but I've got a few minutes right now, and I thought I'd share a little story from over the Christmas break.

We spent the week before Christmas in Hawaii this year. (I know. Poor me.) The last day of the trip, everyone was going down this huge zip line down the side of a mountain. Fun, huh? But they had a strict weight limit of 250 lbs.

Now....that shouldn't have been a problem, but...well... I'm just about 250 if I skip a couple meals the day before, and hey, I was on vacation. I opted for eating poorly and not doing the zip line. Sad, I know.

All this was fine with Julie, because it gave her the opportunity to do what she really wanted: go to a day spa. An I was fortunate enough to come along. Just consider that a moment. Me at a day spa. You'll be both disappointed and completely unsurprised that I passed on the massage, aroma therapy, the rain shower thingy, the steam rooms (they has several varieties), and the salt water infinity pool. I pretty much just sat in a chair, read my book, and waited for Julie.

I did get up at one point. There was a scale in the locker room, and just for kicks, I wanted to see if that morning I actually was under 250.

I stepped on the scale on looked down to the digital readout.


I stepped off and tried again.


A third time.


Then I just let it sink in. I weigh Err. The scale didn't go high enough to measure my weight. You can imagine how that added to my overwhelming feeling that I didn't belong there. I could tell all the metrosexual men in that locker room were watching me, thinking, "What's he playing at? That scale will never measure his weight!" Guess I need one of those scales that trucks drive over, huh?

So a week ago I started a diet. A real one. A serious one. As it turns out, my weight is getting to be a real health issue. I've had high blood pressure during my last three doctor's visits, and I have high levels of some such thing in my liver.

Over the past few weeks, that Err has really sunk in. I'm marking it at my "before" weight. So far, so good on the diet. If there's anyone out there trying to think of the appropriate joke or insult, trust me - you'll never come up with anything better than that bathroom scale.