Saturday, October 27, 2007

Maintain the Quarantine

So I'm sitting here in Drury's library in beautiful Springfield,MO... I'm supposed to be working on a book review due next week, but instead I've been busy playing addicting online games, facebook stalking and watching Mark write his Leibniz paper for Modern Philosophy. I decided to take a momentary break from the mind-numbing to blog.

I've been neglecting this thing, but it hasn't been for lack of ideas. I wanted to make a great post on torture and the ideas I'm learning in my Religious Perspectives on War and Peace class. I

I also really wanted to write about this new Planned Parenthood blog, I Am Emily X, which has entries written by Planned Parenthood workers and allows you to pledge a certain amount per every protester that shows up outside of a specific PP during the anti-choice groups' "40 days for life campaign".

But alas, papers and classes have kept me away from my beloved blog. Silly grad school.

All that aside... I'd like to pose a question to you, my loyal readers-

Last weekend Mark and I watched "28 Weeks Later", the horrible sequel to "28 Days Later". Though some people classify the two as zombie movies, they're really not. Zombies are the undead, reanimated to life by some sinister force or virus or whatever...point is- zombies are dead humans brought back to life. In the 28 series, the so-called "zombies" are actually just humans who have contracted the "Rage virus" which makes them lose control and mercilessly tear other people to bits and/or gouge other people's eyes out with their thumbs. (Was that really necessary? Ugh.)

Watching the sequel prompted both Mark and I to promise each other that we would shoot the other one if for some reason they ever contracted such a virus. (And trust me Mark, I will definitely shoot you before I have to die bleeding out of my empty eye-sockets. ) As Mark put it- "It wouldn't be me."

So here's the question- What makes you YOU? How do you identify what is you and what is not? If I contract an illness that causes brain damage and experience a personality change (I start acting like I'm "not myself") am I a different person?

If you identify yourself simply with your body, then what about zombies? Is a dead person reanimated still that person, even if their desires have changed? (i.e. BRAAAAAAAIIIINNNNS!)

Perhaps I'm putting waaaay too much thought into silly zombie movies, but it's Halloween! :-)
And I'm curious to hear what you think...

Now if you'll excuse me, I think I'm going to go dig up Drury's copies of the Dianetics. My Thetan levels are too high. ;-)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


October and November are always difficult for me.

Maybe it's the mid-term crunch, the impending doom of papers and finals, the change in the weather, the stress of long distance relationships, of old relationships, of newly re-defined relationships...who knows?

All I know is it's never easy and while I am doing my best to not fall victim to my autumn slump this year, it feels like I'm climbing up hill.

I tend to not want to blog or even write in my own personal journal because I don't want any of this mood recorded for posterity. So I apologize if posts are few and far between...I don't think you care about my "the days are getting shorter" grumpiness anyway. ;-) Haha!

I'm going to start working more hard core on my "Second Life religiosity" paper, so expect updates on that...I'm pretty excited. :-)

However I'm not giving up hope that there is a possibility that this autumn could be di

Thursday, October 11, 2007

When you were young and your heart was an open book...

So I have another song to add to the list of "Songs Lindsey Isn't Allowed to Listen to While Driving"-

"Live and Let Die" a la Paul McCartney.

This list currently contains any Rob Zombie song and the techno song "Sandstorm", and while I had successfully gotten over my nasty little speeding habit by the age of 21...listening to these songs can be quite dangerous.

If for some reason I give up on academia, I think I will become a stunt driver. You see, when I'm behind the wheel and some crazy song with a driving beat and killer riff comes on I find myself wanting to re-enact a scene from "Death Proof". But rest assured I'm not going to take anyone on a killer ride in my little Honda Accord...however, if you ever meet Quentin Tarantino and he starts talking about a Death Proof 2, give him my number. ;-)

PS: That picture is old. My car is currently just fine! :-D

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

all things grow, all things grow...

Sometimes real life isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Like when you wake up from a really good dream and realize you're still alone...

Or when you finish your first graduate school midterm only to realize 5 minutes later that you answered the whole last section incorrectly... at least this time you weren't alone!

But sometimes real life can be so good...

Like when you get out of class an hour early and go out to dinner with your classmates. It's so nice to have female companions around again. (No offense boys!) I've missed the joy of girl talk and the lovely ladies of the 118.

And who doesn't love spinach and feta surrounded by flaky phyllo dough with yummy yogurt sauce? Oh yeah...that would be my stomach. Screw it.

Life is good.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Church in RL v. Church in SL

I went to church twice today...sort of.

This morning I headed into KC to go to worship service at Shawnee Park (my home church where I grew up). I needed a little "introvered extrovert" time and church was the perfect place to recharge. I was able to be around people, instead of alone in my apartment, but I didn't have to really talk to anyone either. Lucky me, we sang some of my favorite songs and I was able to get much-needed hugs from my multiple sets of church parents.

Fast forward to this evening...

After I just couldn't take any more of "The Fox and the Jewel" for my Religion in Japan class, I hopped on Second Life. My avatar appeared in the last placed I'd visited which happened to be Koinonia Church, which is "affiliated" with the UCC. I figured there was definitely less of a chance I'd be hit on by half naked strange avatars there, so I decided to hang out for awhile.

And wow, I'm glad I did! I was able to meet the pastor of the Second Life (SL) church, Sophianne. In real life (RL) she's a Master of Divinity student at Candler divinity school which is a part of Emory University in Atlanta. She's writing her thesis on this sort of technological spiritual experience, and I'm looking forward to talking to her more about it in the future as I write my research paper at the end of the semester and develop my thesis topic.

Maybe this SL world isn't all bad. It's possible there are pockets of good intentions...I think so.

But once again it's strange for me, because as I sat there talking to the people who were hanging out at Koinonia, I was sitting in my apartment in my underwear drinking a beer and no one was the wiser!

Saturday, October 6, 2007


Last night at work gave me the perfect opportunity to reach outside myself and practice compassion.

I was in a grumpy mood when I showed up for my 1-9:30 shift yesterday. I was going to grit my teeth and get it done, but I was going to grumble my way through it.

Things changed however when I realized I wasn't the only one having a bad day. My friends who were working that night were having it a lot more rough than perhaps I
ever have.

So I took a deep breath and took Thich Nhat Hahn's advice about intentional listening and deep understanding. I can only hope that talking to someone helped them to feel a little better, but I will probably never know. I do know however that it felt good for me to step outside myself and try to genuinely be there for another person. It's an amazing experience when time and the rest of the world slows down and you can mindfully be present with another human being.

I think the hardest part of understanding suffering is understanding (and more so accepting) that not only is the victim hurting, but the one who perpetrated the hurt is suffering just as much if not more so. We like to "otherize" people who hurt us. We don't want to understand or feel compassion for our enemies.

I like the quote on Kat's facebook profile- "Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."

Another thought- Sushi four times in the past week. Not only am I spoiled, I'm probably going to get mercury poisoning.

Do you care for tea?

Clean cup, clean cup. Move down!


Lindsey Dayafter got bored checking out churches and other serene places, so she headed to a place called "Lucifer's Nightclub" or something to that effect to get her groove on. I don't know how long I can continue with this Second Life experiment because I'm already tired of people propositioning me. Get a life people...sheesh.
Oh wait...

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Free Burma

Free Burma!

Lindsey gets a Second Life

Okay I'll admit it (because that's all I do on this blog any more) I joined Second Life. After that discussion in class during our session on Durkheim (see post), I was curious.

So I made an avatar (named Lindsey Dayafter) and set off to explore this new online world. People have apparently been making a lot of money selling items and real estate in this second world. You can hold concerts and movie screenings, get married and even go to church...which is where I come in.

My intention behind joining Second Life is to explore the spiritual life that avatars (and the people behind them) have. Today I spent some time exploring different "houses of worship", from's building, to the Church of Satan, to a Zen meditation center and finally a Catholic monastery. The picture above is of my avatar kneeling in prayer at a chapel in the monastery. It's pretty cool. I'm looking forward to going back to the various different places of worship to check out their services and discussion groups.

But here's the question- is this real spirituality, real religious devotion? I mean, you can see quite clearly that my avatar, Lindsey Dayafter, is kneeling and praying in the Second Life world, but in all honestly I was eating lunch and watching *cringe* Maury while my she was being pious. Hopefully I'll be able to talk to people and find out what this means to them, if they do this with devotion or just for fun.

The internet is such a strange new world that absolutely fascinates me...especially when religion is involved. I smell a thesis topic?


Apparently Lindsey Dayafter is quite the pluralist-

Meditating at a Buddhism and Yoga center (it's also a nightclub and has a stage for concerts)

Meditating at a Shinto shrine which also had a giant gold Buddha next to it

Worshiping at that Shinto shrine

(Lindsey's been busy)

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

And any time you feel the pain...

As cliche as it is, I've had a line from RENT stuck in my head since yesterday-

"The opposite of WAR isn't's CREATION!"

Why was this particular line stuck in my head you ask? I'll admit it- my birthday weekend wasn't that great. No one's fault really, my body just declared war on itself and I didn't deal with it very well.

Now, in the recovery period, I'm embracing my unfortunately Type A personality...
I don't relax very well I've realized. For that longest time I've been frustrated with this, as I feel like there's something wrong with me. I can't just veg out on the couch and watch TV and feel better.

So I spent yesterday relaxing my way- by getting stuff done. Truck day at work was a great way to work through my stress. Brett and I kicked ass unloading the truck and getting all the candles unpacked and put away before we went home (that usually never happens). I felt so good about being productive that when I got home, I made and froze enchiladas so I could have dinner for sometime later this week and paid all of my bills. Sushi with Kat and Meghan, followed by Pan's Labyrinth was a great way to end the day.

At the end of it all I went to bed with a sense of relief, feeling like I'd gotten something done.

I guess what I'm saying is, I'm slowly learning to be okay with my form of relaxation. While I'm sure there will be days where vegging out on the couch is the best option, I feel like yesterday was a big step in the right direction. Creating and accomplishing brings me peace.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have stuff to do. ;-)