Friday, September 26, 2008

instructions on how to imbed a link

Thanks to Erin for these instructions! I've had them stashed away as a draft and have found them very useful. It's only recently occurred to me that I may as well post them, and let others benefit from her instructions as well!

The html tags for imbedding are "a" with the usual carats, so

  1. [a href="URL"] text [/a]
  2. So if I wanted to imbed a link for my homepage in a comment box it would be
  3. [a href="] Coffee Randoms [/a]
  4. Except, of course that instead of using [square brackets], proper html code takes right and left carets (the "greater than" and "less than" signs above your comma and period on your keyboard . . . .<>. . . blogger doesn't have any way for me to type out instructions on how to imbed the link without actually then imbedding it. :P
  5. My husband notes that if you're ever commenting on board that uses UBB (Universal Bulletin Board) coding, it actually is done with the square brackets instead of the carets

Happy commenting, everyone!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

the post that's not going to get finished

    I've been trying to put this post together for days. But the rock tumbler that is my brain is refusing to disgorge any neatly polished little stones this time round. If you're interested, here's some of the gravel that's been filling my thoughts of late. I keep thinking that I ought to be able to actually get some conclusions about all of it--but if they're there to be found, it's by someone smarter and less distracted than me. And less prone to ruin the joke by over-analyzing it. :P
  • God invented laughter
  • some of the best comics are those who invite us to laugh at them
  • Jesus--God's own fool (Thank you Michael Card)
  • Jesus does not protect his own dignity
  • humor is critcally situational and ephemeral (I guess you had to be there)
  • look at the historical theology we're doing these days--we hardly understand the culture, even if the jokes of the time had been recorded, would they ever translate?
  • to laugh at myself requires that I not take myself too seriously . . .
  • humility is not the same as thinking badly about myself
  • but it is seeing myself truly--and we're all ridiculous and have mortal faults. (xkcd's undignified)
  • the concept of sputten--we take truly holy things too lightly
  • in part because we take truly ridiculous things too seriously?
  • God as our Father . . .
  • we delight to make our children laugh
  • we play the fool and silliness for them
  • it's part of how they know we love them
  • we make jokes around them that they don't get
  • it's neat to see when they understand enough to get the joke
  • it's one of the best things in the world for your kid to make you laugh
  • laughter is based in large part on surprise and the unexpected
  • we can't surprise God . . .
  • but I think we can delight him
  • but surely Jesus could be surprised? one of the confines of living within time would have been to not know every detail of the future . . . we know that the Father limited his knowledge within his time on earth
  • God obviously invites us to take joy in him . . . enjoy him
  • laugh with him? laugh at him? Jesus's role of holy fool and sacrifice invites us to be in on the joke . . . it is Satan who is defeated.
  • he is the clown . . . the one who pulls off the impossible . . . (Bello Nock) . . . when laughter is the only response to the jaw-dropping wonder that they actually just did that . . .
  • where do funny and joy and awe and all that meet?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

once upon a time

I signed up for a class on classic movie comedy. The class was at the university where I was doing a semester abroad, and I knew nothing about it except what was in the course description book. It promised a semester of Charlie Chaplin and the Marx Brothers, and I could transfer the credit to slot in my major.

When I showed up for my first day of class, the prof turned out to be one of the most obnoxious jerks you can imagine. He liked offending people. He liked getting in your face. He wasn't going to put up with anyone in his class who wouldn't just swallow whatever he wanted to dish out. He also had about twice as many people signed up for his class as he wanted in it--the university refused to classify the course as a seminar and cap enrollment at 15 . . . so his method of dealing with this was to drive away as many of his students as possible in the first week while they could still re-jigger their schedule. I was one of the students he succeeded in driving away. While disliked letting such tactics "work" on me, and letting the prof succeed in his ugly little game, I also decided that anyone who would use such methods was not someone I probably wanted to study under.

Despite all that, there are still days when I regret not sticking to it with that course. The little bit of content we got on that first day was hilarious--and fascinating. I have the NT's classic instinct of wanting to take everything apart and see the insides of why it works. And while I know that some people think that humor is ruined by such analysis, I really don't agree. (For a great, ongoing discussion on this topic, see Jane Espenson's blog.) What makes a joke work? Why did that one fail? Can we name different humor types as we do personality types? Can we make actual technical distinction between nasty humor and clean? Smart and dumb? And how does character play into all this? Our expectations? What does it take for us to be able to make a joke . . . and take one?

Friday, September 19, 2008

The latest meme

Happy apparently thinks I haven't been blogging enough. She's probably right. Or she just thinks I'm an easy mark. In which case, she's probably right. Anyway. Three things about . . . well, lots.

3 Joys:
  • coffee (and chocolate, and things like tiramisu and Starbucks truffles, which combine them)
  • watching moving water . . . a river, the ocean, a waterfall, a good fountain even
  • praying in the empty sanctuary, Sunday morning before worship. (Preferably with a cup of coffee)

3 Fears:

  • spiders
  • failing my children
  • doing something really stupid with money
3 Goals:
  • To hike the Bryce Canyon trail
  • To finish my book (or honestly, get much past the 2nd chapter)
  • to visit Rome again
3 Current Obsessions:
  • figuring which of the long list of house projects we can / should afford to have done before the snow flies
  • building in a habit of exercise
  • the presidential election
3 Random/Surprising Facts: (um, about me? it doesn't say . . . check out Wikipedia--it's crammed with random and surprising facts . . . did you know that vexillology is the study of flags?)
  • um . . . I can get lost for hours in Wikipedia
  • I like silver better than gold
  • I detest laundry
3 Things I hope for:

I'm adding this one in separate from goals. My goals are the things that I'm striving for, the things, that, whether or not I accomplish them have a lot to do with my own efforts. These things, that I hope for, are things that I want to see God do, in and around my life--and if I try to convince myself that they're up to my efforts, I'll probably just get in the way of God accomplishing them.
  • for our church to grow into a community addicted to worship. One of the sweetest things I've ever experienced was to be part of a group that just swam in it. I want more of that
  • for my daughters to grow up knowing in their innermost spirits who they are in Christ and to live towards being more that every day
  • for the works of my hands to reflect the beauty and truth of the Creator who made us, and to bring glory to his son, Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit

There you go, Hap. I don't tag. Whoever wants it . . . happy meme-ing!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I find this very interesting

I've generally stayed away writing about politics. For one thing, I figure that Rob has already more than burned through our household quota for political blogging. Also, being married to a political junkie, any passing want I have for a political conversation, I can have in person--I generally don't need to start a comment thread. :) For politics, I can talk to my husband or my father. And for all those other sanity-saving conversations of young motherhood--potty-training, recipe swaps, how-do-you-like-the-schools, and what are you reading for yourself these days anyway (all of which really fall under the category of "reassure me that I'm not the only one dealing with these things), for all of those conversations, I have the usual round of contacts of playdates, other church moms, old friends, etc.

And now the two are starting to overlap. Sarah Palin's speech last night was the play date conversation of this morning. ("I like her!" one friend declared while herding her kids in the door and getting shoes off). A friend of mine who is usually politically clueless by choice ("Tell me who's running in October") made a point of looking up and listening to Palin's speech online today. We're a voting demographic for whom the political process really doesn't intersect with our daily lives all that much. We may turn out to vote, but we're not usually that engaged with it . . . Now we've got a candidate who we can very well imagine having over for a play date. Who gets it that the conversation about which teacher your kid had for first grade and I'm not sure that I like what they're doing with this latest math curriculum matter--and joined the PTA to do something about it. A candidate who respects us. A true feminist who lives the fact that whether I want to have a career or want to stay home with my kids, or whether I want to combine those--it's all good. Not a faux feminist who's implying that my kids are a waste of my time. A woman who's inspired usually silent multitudes to say "I am Sarah Palin. Her story is my story." (Maybe I ought to get me one of those t-shirts. I like her.)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Beauty and theology

Creation and destruction. Beauty and ugliness. We worship Creator-God, and when we create, we live out the fact that we are made in his image. On the flip side, when we destroy, we undercut the very purpose for which we were made--by turning ourselves into vandals, we in some sense work to unmake ourselves. When our agenda results in destructions, when our actions result in ugliness, when our theology results in discord, something needs to be reexamined. The call of the Kingdom is to shalom, a word that gets translated "peace" but actually gets at harmony--when everything fits together into one whole thing of beauty.

Here's wishing the best to Bristol Palin

Others have already written about this situation ad naseum. All I have to say is that I'm thankful that Bristol Palin has what looks to be a strong support system through what's probably going to be a very challenging time. Many aren't so lucky. If you've been bothered this week by the politicization of one teenager's story, I'd encourage you to do something about it by helping out another mom who needs it. Buy a couple of packages of diapers and some new pacifiers for your local crisis pregnancy center. Buy a few cans of formula for your local food bank (there's never enough of it). Make sure that the unwed mothers in or connected to your congregation get their baby showers too. The right has taken some justified criticism that they care more for the babies in tough luck situations before they're born than after. Take some steps to make that less true this week. And do it as a tribute to one young woman who looks to be following in her mother's footsteps for doing what she's going to do and not much caring what the rest of the world who doesn't know her thinks about it.