Friday, November 30, 2007

Can you blame the sky for having clouds?

(If you don’t feel like reading there’s a cute hamster picture at the end of this entry ;-) )

A paper I wrote for my Religious Perspectives on War and Peace class yesterday morning (7 pages in 2 hours...I still rock!) got me thinking about the nature of my personality versus the person I desire to be.

My paper dealt with "conflict transformation", specifically what various religious groups are doing to aid in the process. My research gave me a plethora of examples, and I am still in awe of those individuals who bravely put their own lives on the line to help resolve and transform conflict in violent, tense situations.

Allow me to let you in on the train of thought which led from the Catholic Relief Services to my personal discomfort with how snarky I can be when it comes to ex-boyfriends-

I wonder what causes conflict, what is at the root of hatred? In my small group in class we swerved pretty far off topic and found ourselves discussing Mel Gibson's hate speech during his DUI arrest. It was unimaginable to us how an individual could hate another person so much simply because of their race or religion or what have you.

A quote I used in my paper from Douglas Johnston makes me wonder…

“Reconciliation born of spiritual conviction can play a critical role by inspiring conflicting parties to move beyond the normal human reaction of responding in kind, of returning violence for violence

Is this really the “normal human reaction”? Is this what we’re programmed to do? Is my default setting hatred and a thirst for retribution?

Sometimes I think that might be true. I’m horrible when it comes to ex-boyfriends…don’t think that I don’t have multiple scripts in my mind of mean snarky things I’d love to say to them, especially if their wives/fiancĂ©es/girlfriends were around. The hurt I felt has congealed into repulsion and general spitefulness.

So I’m working through it; I’m working through the hurt to transform my own conflicts into positive energy. I want so badly to live the Eightfold Path, to truly love my neighbor as myself…but why should that be a such a struggle for me unless I’m inherently broken?

So what is it?

Can you blame the sky for having clouds?
(Inherent goodness with a few bad days)


Can you blame a fire for burning?
(Inherent brokenness explains everything)

I'd love to hear what you think...

Here’s the afore-promised hamster picture! Aww…

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Harry Krishna

Pictures are over rated's a video-

Mark decided I needed a reason to come home at night, so he got me this adorable hamster. We had a few issues last night with a noisy wheel, but now that I've got that problem fixed Harry and I are quite peacefully co-habitating.

Expect to hear more about him now that I have become a crazy hamster lady.

And before I forget, thank you to Eli for agreeing to be Harry's can school him in the ways of musical theatre and Wii!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

With a Little Help From My Friends...

So Marko Polo and I got creative tonight and produced this little ditty-

With a Little Help From My Friends

You might want to turn down your speakers a little...we're rockstars!

The quote at the beginning is from Across the Universe soundtrack. If you haven't seen the movie yet *ahem Mom and Dad ahem* I definitely recommend it.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Happy Chrismahannukwanzafestivivsolstice

(Pardon my momentary inflammatory speech)

Dear Right-wing Fundy Christian Whiners-

Please shut up.

Thanks and blessings!

Lindsey in Lawrence

You have absolutely no right to complain that we have completely removed Jesus from the Christmas season, as I am pretty sure I was forced to endure a techno-remix of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" while shopping at Victoria's Secret.

Jesus and underwear don't mix....give me Madonna's "Santa Baby" any day. Maaaybe I'll just put those back (kidding...kidding)!

However I will stick to "Happy Holidays" when greeting people around this time of the year, not out of lack of reverence for the season or fear of offending, but because I think Jesus would like us to celebrate his *ahem* "birthday" by loving one another and being inclusive.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Peace in Action

I had a great experience in my Religious Perspectives on War and Peace class this morning.

We were fortunate enough to have a former KU student (he graduated in May) come and speak to us. His named is Jon Dennis and he is involved in all sorts of activist and peace organizations, and even started one of his own on KU's campus. He spoke about his experiences protesting the war (being arrested for civil disobedience) and his current activism project helping tenants of low-income housing fight for their rights. What I found most interesting is that he was raised a Pentecostal, yet now considers himself a Quaker. Jon will be headed off to Thailand with the Peace Corps in January and I wish him the best of luck!

Along the same lines I'd like to share with you a couple of people who are doing great things in the world-

Beth's Peace Corps Adventures in Honduras

I've known Beth since middle school...she's an old camp friend who spent many a semester during her college career at TCU abroad in Central and South America. Now she's in Honduras with the Peace Corps doing community development work. You should definitely check out her blog and the work she's doing.

Andrea in the Peace Corps
Another camp friend of mine, Andrea, is also serving in the Peace Corps. She was just recently deployed to Turkmenistan (I'll admit, I had to go look that up on a map) and is documenting her journey as well.

Both these women are courageous and I'm proud of them. It takes a special sort of person to volunteer their time and 27 months of their life to go abroad, and I know they will do good things. I hope to join their ranks some day...until then I'll live vicariously through their blogs. :-)

Today's Life Lesson

Do not go to the grocery store when you are in a bad mood.

The fat kid ran rampant today at Dillon's. Everything in my cart was either full of sugar, sodium or fat. The fat kid grabbed Fruity Pebbles and popsicles, PopTarts, cheese and tortillas...

After I talked myself down and picked up some apples, bananas and whole wheat bread, I desperately searched every aisle for some glorious processed cheese product....because the only thing that could make me feel better at this point is grilled cheese, dammit.

With Thanksgiving coming up it's going to be a long week for my stomach. *rarrr*
Bring on the food.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Grumpy Feminist

"Feminism is a struggle to end sexist oppression. Therefore, it is necessarily a struggle to eradicate the ideology of domination that permeates Western culture on various levels as well as a commitment to reorganizing society so that the self-development of people can take precedence over imperialism, economic expansion, and material desires.” -bell hooks

This is what I looked like on the inside during REL 601 today.

We were discussing feminist and gender critiques of religion (Rita Gross and Marsha Hewitt) as well as feminist reconstructions of religion.

Jen and I, being the ones to present for the day, were on top of our game and ready to roll. This was our thing, what we're interested in..the sort of thing that really fascinates me.

But then it happened...the same way it always happens. We're literally two sections into Jen's outline on the Rita Gross reading and all of a sudden the men are on the defensive.

One of them starts spouting off about how this feminist propaganda is completely anti-male; another starts some sort of strange rant about how even if we have women's studies, there aren't that many significant women to study and therefore spending 50% of your time on women would take vital time away from the vast array of significant men to study. Oh and then we wasted ten minutes listening to the discussion of how women aren't considered "other", and I quote..."I mean, they may be lesser humans but they're still humans".

I spent most of my time biting my pen, because to me feminism and religious studies are about dialogue, about listening to the others around you and seeking understanding...but how do you seek understanding when those around your are on the defensive?

I'll admit it- I threw away any sort of skillful means I may have been endowed with and just straight up went on the attack. Which, if you know me, means I said one mean thing very politely in a way that no one understood I was being mean. Ha!

If I understand correctly, the main complaint of the "propaganda" guy was that women's studies is just like affirmative action. He offered the metaphor of a pendulum, saying that perhaps it has swung in the direction of androcentrism (male centered) focus, but insisting on women's studies simply pushes it way too far in the other direction.

I couldn't chew on my pen any longer. I calmly offered this-

The problem with the pendulum in our society is that we see it as "normal" and "centered" when in all actuality it is stuck quite far on the androcenterist side. An emphasis on women's studies and gender does not push the pendulum too far the other direction, but rather seeks to bring it back to center. It will take time of course, but a push in the other direction is necessary to bring us back to center.

It is so frustrating to me when men jump to the defensive when it comes to discussing feminism. Feminism is not is all encompassing. Those two particular men in my class made it quite clear the inherent patriarchal fear of losing their position in society.

Ahh well. Boys will be boys eh? I'm not discouraged...just grumpy.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

There's Nothing New on Television

(And I'm not just talking about the writer's strike!)

Dear Ellen Degeneres-

I am disappointed.

You should fire whoever does the research for your talk show.

This afternoon's episode involved "Kid Inventors", today in particular featuring young girls who had made inventions. The first girl was cute, having invented a back pack that has an umbrella attached...but the second girl *sigh* shame shame. She "invented" a peanut butter jar with two lids.


There used to be a show on Nickelodeon called "Figure It Out" where celebs had to guess the hidden talent of the young guest. On a particular "Family Style" episode a young man and his mom presented ...guess what? A peanut butter jar with two lids.

I, being the great member of the Millenial generation that I am, am appalled that this particular girl would try to sneak this by us.

Ugh. If the writers and those with the money could come to an agreement a little faster, that would be great. I'm about done with re-runs of the Daily Show.

(Forgive my moment of shallowness, I'm getting sick thanks to this crazy up and down change in weather and this sort of thinking is currently easier than tackling real issues. I appologize.)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Only 48 Shopping Days Left...

We started playing Christmas music at Pier 1 yesterday.

Since there are two different versions of "Santa Clause is Coming to Town" on the CD, I was lucky enough to hear it 6 times in my 8 hour shift. Oh and who doesn't love a disco version of "Do You Hear What I Hear" and a jazzed up version of "Jingle Bells"? It's novel the first two times...after that I really just had to stick my fingers in my ears.

Christmas Carols are like hymns to me...very rarely do I stop to actually listen to the words and when I do, I wish I hadn't.

I am now officially creeped out by Santa.
In "Santa Clause is Coming to Town" we learn that Santa "sees you when you're sleeping/he knows when you're awake/he knows if you've been bad or good/so be good for goodness sake". We give Santa this creepy god-like omnipotence, but just as I'm wondering whether or not Santa is sort of a representation for God I hear "Here Comes Santa Clause"-

Peace on earth will come to all
It we just follow the light
So lets give thanks to the Lord above
That Santa Claus comes tonight!

Oh yes...let's thank God that a creepy fat man in a red suit is going to magically squeeze his way down all the chimneys in the world and leave gifts while gorging himself on milk and cookies. Let's thank God for the spirit of consumerism Santa instills in us all. That's surely the way to peace on Earth. Ugh.

It's going to be a long 48 days!

If I ever have kids (as that is a potentiality I have) I'm not sure that I'm going to encourage them to believe in Santa. That's right, my kids will be the ones that make your kids cry in kindergarten when they tell the class Santa isn't real. But maybe I'm just bitter thanks to all the holiday cheer being crammed down my throat through the audio system. I'll get back to you in a few years. ;-)

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Convenient Concussions

Yesterday morning I gave myself a concussion.
"No more monkeys jumping on the bed" means nothing to me apparently, as I flopped back on my bed and knocked my head squarely against the wall.

I suppose you could call it serendipitous (though right now I'm just calling it a headache) because from the time I hit my head at 9 am until about 6:30 pm I don't really remember any conversations I had. This includes some rather stressful conversations, and while I remember being upset, I don't remember what was said. While I do feel bad for whatever I may have said that was inappropriate and I's an odd feeling to not have those words still bouncing around in my head.

Perhaps ignorance really is bliss. I keep thinking about "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" and what it would mean to actually mentally "erase" people from my life.

If you could get rid of certain memories, would you do it?

PS: Speaking of forgetting- I keep forgetting to thank TheMindtaker for doing such a wonderful job creating my header. He's quite talented with Photoshop. Thanks Gabriel!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Craving and Clinging

It's nights like these
(when I am screaming and sobbing into my pillow for lack of understanding of anything)
that make me wish I didn't have to grow up.

I drove myself home from my store meeting tonight, sat down in my button up dress shirt and khakis and had a glass of wine. Later, to my horror, I discovered the beginnings of wrinkles on my face. I'm 23...why do I feel 35?

Part of me (that prior to writing this entry was screaming and sobbing) wishes I could just wander down the hall to my parents bedroom, wake Dad up and actually believe him when he says its all going to be okay. Right now, I'm not doing a very good job of convincing myself.

I just want to be understood and accepted.
I spend my days acting- at work, at school...trying to fit in accurately in social situations.
One Lindsey for this setting, another for a different time and place.
It's tiring. I lose track of myself.

I am so insecure about letting my guard down and simply being comfortable, that when I do...the slightest little off-handed comment sends me into a tail-spin.

I just wish all those freshmen weren't so cute.
I hate November.