The O'Nan Family Blog

Monday, January 31, 2005

Roommate Moment

The following conversation just took place in my room:

"Hey, Laura, you know what's kind of funny?"

"What's that, Becky?"

"Well, my panties say, 'Made in Israel,' and I just can't imagine Victoria's Secret having a big production plant in the Holy Land."

Saturday, January 29, 2005


Here at Southern Seminary, there is this phenomenon of punishment that professors like to use called "unassigned reading." Unassigned reading is conniving, cunning, and cruel. When you see "unassigned reading" on your syllabus, you immediately think "optional," "volitional," "not required." Then you read the fine print. What "unassigned reading" really means is that you must read hundreds and hundreds of pages of text (in addition to the required assigned reading) in order to acquire a certain grade. The books that you read are not specifically designated or assigned, but may come from a large bibliography of texts provided to the students by the professor. Unassigned reading translates, "You must read a whole lot in this class, but at least you have some freedom in choosing what you will read."

Last semester, I was quite disappointed when I realized that my church history professor had included the phrase "unassigned reading" on his syllabus. But I decided I would make the best of it. I scanned down the list of readings and saw Augustine's Confessions. Since it was a classic and I had never read it, I decided I would include this book as part of my "unassigned reading."

From the time I opened up to page one, I was hooked. Augustine wrote as though he were speaking to me, as if he wanted to share his life, his struggles, his heart, his sin, his intellect, his very being with me. He was so intimate that at times I felt as if I were reading something that I shouldn't, something that he really meant to reserve for his "prayer journal," not for me. He was transparent and open. He was truthful even when it hurt. He showed me what it means to be human, what it means to struggle with sin, and what it means to be united with Christ.

I'll leave you with just a few of the many treasures from Augustine's Confessions:

Our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee.

There is no doubt in my mind, Lord, that I love you. I feel it with certainty. You struck my heart with Your word, and I loved You."

Those who do not want to find their joy in You (which alone is the happy life) certainly do not want the happy life... And certainly the happy life is joy in truth, which means joy in You, who are truth, god, my light, health of my countenance, my God. This is the happy life which all desire; this life which alone is happy all desire; joy in truth is what all desire.

But what do I love when I love you? Not the beauty of the body nor the glory of time, not the brightness of light shining so friendly to the eye, not the sweet and various melodies of singing, not the fragrance of flowers and unguents and spices, not the manna and honey, not limbs welcome to the embraces of flesh: it is not these that I love when I love my God. And yet I do love a kind of light, the melody, the fregrance, the food, the embracement of my inner self - there where is a brilliance that space cannot contain, a sound that time cannot carry away, a perfume that no breeze disperses, a taste undiminished by eating, a clinging together that no satiety will sunder. This is what I love when I love my God.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

There Is A Silver Lining...

The unthinkable is happening to me. Slowly but surely, little silver hairs are beginning to take over my head. Soon, my curly, brunette locks will be wiry and gray. This is quite disappointing and difficult to come to terms with. My first silver hair appeared over the summer. I was shocked! Surely it had surfaced as a result of the past semester. The fall semester proved to be even more stressful than the last, and sure enough more silver hairs appeared. I now have identified a total of five silver hairs on my head, and I don't expect this process to reverse itself. Now that I am over the shock and am at a point where I can at least talk about it, I have decided to view things positively. I will tell myself things like:

* At least they are silver and not gray!
* The "wiry" ones just blend in with my curls.
* 25 is the new 15!
* Someday I'll look like Emmylou Harris.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Keeping Up the Appearance of Evil

It's really awkward to read a book titled HOMOSEXUALITY: The Use of Scientific Research in the Church's Moral Debate at the local "artsy" coffee shop. Yeah...

Friday, January 21, 2005

An Open Letter to Sufjan Stevens

Dear Sufjan,

I would like to thank you for writing good music. Thank you for expressing "the overflow of your heart." Thank you for writing songs that are real, that are honest, that are transparent. Thank you for writing in a way that reflects Christ's forming in your heart. Thank you for creating, and thus acting in the image of God. Thank you for being concerned with beauty. Thank you for taking a part in the redemption of the arts. Thank you for playing the banjo.

Laura Beth Atwood

"To Be Alone with You" by Sufjan Stevens

I'd swim across Lake Michigan
I'd sell my shoes.
I'd give my body to back again
in the rest of room.
To be alone with You.

You gave you body to the lonely.
They took your clothes.
You gave up a wife and a family.
You gave your ghost
To be alone with me.

To be alone with me
You went upon a tree.
I've never met a man who loved me.

"Abraham" by Sufjan Stevens

Abraham, worth a righteous one.
Take up on the wood
Put it on your son.
Lake or Lamb.
There is none to harm.
When the angel came
You had raised your arm.

Abraham, put off on your son.
Take instead the ram,
Until Jesus comes.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

A Lesson From Rahab

If you take a glance through my library, it won’t take you long to see that I am not that into “women’s books.” It’s not that I don’t think they are valuable or have important things to say, it’s just that they all say basically the same thing over and over and over again. Last summer, I decided I would try to brush up on some women’s reading. So I got all the “Christian woman must-haves” – Passion and Purity, Lady in Waiting, Feminine Appeal, all that good stuff. I tried. I really tried to enjoy them, to let my soul be warmed. I just couldn’t stick with any of them.

Then I opened up a book called When Life and Beliefs Collide by Carolyn Custis James. She had my attention from the beginning. She writes about the need for women to know theology, and attempts to correct the thinking that has crept into our churches that says, “Theology is for men.” It is true that women even resist learning theology for fear that this knowledge may not be “feminine” or that men may be intimidated by women knowing theology. Interesting… She also argues that women must know theology in order to be a helpmate in the truest sense of the word. How can a woman offer true comfort, true council, true love, etc. except through the knowledge of God’s Word and of the truths taught therein?

James discusses Rahab for a portion of the book, and what she says is profound. I believe if women (and men) really believed what James says about Rahab, they would experience so much freedom and security in their lives. Here’s what James writes:

“Rahab became a theologian with special expertise in grace. What a contrast her voice must have made among Israelites whose taste for God had gone flat. She understood the depths of her own sin, so she felt his mercy more strongly than those who took his grace for granted… If we learn anything from Rahab, it is that our own sins, failures, and mistakes cannot destroy God’s sovereign plan for us. In fact, he is at work in the midst of our self-destructive actions and the pain we bring upon ourselves to advance his good purposes for us. Rahab’s theology was forged by her dark and shameful past. God’s plan isn’t contingent on a sterling resume or flawless life, or none of us could ever hope to serve him. Not even our sins can obstruct his plans.”

This reminds me of something my pastor said in a sermon last year. He was talking about living in the bondage of guilt for past sins and said that we dare not live feeling guilty for our sins that have been confessed and repented of, because allowing guilt to creep into our lives is to say that what Jesus did on the cross was not sufficient enough to completely free us. How convicting! And James even goes further to say – learn from these sins – learn the depths of Gods mercy, the richest of His grace, the unworthiness of mankind to receive any favor from God, and stand in awe and humility before the God who chose to redeem souls.

Women, read this book and commit to knowing God’s word. Men, read this book, and commit to knowing God’s word and to encouraging all women in your life know theology.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Syllabus Shock!!

Today was the first day of classes, and I was certainly hit with a good ole case of “syllabus shock.” I had never heard this phrase before I came to Southern Seminary. But then again, there would have never been any reason to use the phrase “syllabus shock” in reference to any of the academic non-demands at Ole Miss. But I digress…

Here is how my semester is looking:

Greek Syntax and Exegesis with Dr. John Polhill
- This will be my last required course in Greek. We will be translating and “exegeting” the book of Philippians.
- We will be using the following books:
The Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament
The Epistle to the Philippians: A Commentary on the Greek Text, Peter T. O’Brian
It’s Still Greek to Me, David Alan Black
Lexical Aids for Students of New Testament Greek, Bruce M. Metzger

Christianity, Truth and Culture with Dr. Jim Parker
- This is the class I am most excited about this semester. However, it will be a lot of work with a lot of required reading, a class presentation on a book from the “recommended reading” list, a 20-page paper on any approved worldview/culture topic (Dr. Parker has already approved my topic – why the arts are important to the church/why the church should be supportive of the arts and art community), listening to 10 Mars Hill tapes and keeping a listening journal, and a final essay test.
- Here’s the required reading:
Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity, Nancy Pearcey
Spirit Wars: Pagan Revival in Christian America, Peter Jones
The Death of Character: Moral education in an Age Without Good or Evil, James Davison
Reason in the Balance: The Case Against Naturalism in Science, Law & Education, Phillip E.
Domestic Tranquility: A Brief Against Feminism, by E. Carolyn Graglia
Homosexuality: The Use of Scientific Research in the Church’s Moral Debate, by Stanton
Jones and Mark Yarhouse
All God’s Children and Blue Suede Shoes: Christians and Popular Culture, Ken Meyers

Church History II with Dr. Tom Nettles
- This class covers the history of the church from the Reformation period through the Modern period. Dr. Nettles is a wonderful professor, and he’s from Mississippi! This class will be very difficult, but definitely worth the work.
- Required books include:
The Story of Christianity, Vol. 2, Justo Gonzalez
Document of the Christian Church, Henry Bettenson
The Institutes of the Christian Religion, John Calvin
The Anabaptist Story, William R. Estep
Christianity and Liberalism, J. Gresham Machen

Personal Counseling with Dr. Eric Johnson
- I am required to take a counseling elective, and this is it. I really like Dr. Johnson. He goes to my church and is very cool, very into the arts and music. However, I am not so super excited about this class, in general. So I’m not even going to do a book list, just because I personally don’t find it that interesting.

So, that’s my semester. My blogging may be less frequent, and now you’ll know why.

Monday, January 17, 2005

The Cracker Barrel Portion of the Grand Ole Opry

I spent some of the best hours of my life in the Ryman Auditorium at the Grand Ole Opry last Saturday night. As soon as Little Jimmy Dickens walked out onto the stage, I knew this was going to be a grand ole night of country music. I was there with Nikki, who had recommended that we go to the Opry since Emmylou Harris (my country music heroine) and Patty Griffin (her country music heroine) were going to be there. My sweet friend Heather, who is from Nashville, also joined us.

It was so great to see the legends - Jimmy Dickens, Jimmy C. Newman, Connie Smith, and Bill Anderson. And we were blown away by the 19-year-old up and coming star Blaine Larson (whose manager happens to be Heather's husband). Blaine looks about 12-years-old, but he has the deep, rich voice of a grown man. Rhonda Vincent stunned me with her mandolin skills. And Mike Snider made me laugh. But all of this paled in comparison to the very last segment of the Opry, sponsored by the Cracker Barrel Old Coutry Store. The curtains opened, and there stood Buddy Miller, Patty Griffin, Gillian Welch, David Rawlings, and Emmylou Harris. EMMYLOU HARRIS!!!! This was all too much at once! Nikki and I were on the edge of our seats, intently watcing eveything that happened on the stage. This was certainly the best 30 minutes of music I've seen in a long time. Heather, who hangs out with country music stars practically all the time, later informed us that she had a great time taking pictures of Nikki and I reacting to Emmylou, Patty, Buddy, Gillian, and David. Of course, Nikki and I were so engrossed in what was going on on the stage that we did not even notice Heather taking the pictures.

We stayed with Heather that night in her beautiful home with her beautiful dogs. Her husband was away with Kenny Chesney at the Tsunami Relief Benefit in L.A. He would call Heather every now and then to tell her he had just met Brad Pitt or George Clooney or Rene Zellweger. Scattered around Heather's home are pictures of her and Clint (her husband) with Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill... (Heather, I really had no idea that you lead such a glamorous life!) Heather was the best hostess, and we felt so welcome in her home. (Thanks so much, Heather! You are precious and sweet and adorable! You and Clint are so amazing for opening your home to us.)

On Sunday morning, Nikki and I had to hit the road. We hated to leave Music City, but we got a Goo-Goo on the way out to help sweeten the long ride home. "Gotta Getta Goo-Goo!"

Friday, January 14, 2005

Off the Deep End

The folks at Carried Cross have certainly caught my attention. I was introduced to these guys a few days ago through stevenb, and I don't know whether to laugh or weep. The people of this organization are beyond fundamentalism, and have turned from any hints of "loving your neighbor" and having "joy in the Lord." They preach a twisted message of hating your life (suffering for Christ) and hating the world (separation from culture). How tragic! My heart really goes out to the people who are buying these lies, and who are living in such bondage. Nevertheless, after you get over feeling sorry for or even being angry with these people, you can view their website for entertainment purposes. Here are a few highlights:

Titles include "Halloween Alternatives," "Loser for Jesus," "Kill the Easter Bunny," and "Hating for Jesus"

Here are some excerps from "What is Acceptable Music?"
- Rather than frame our discussion by the use of human logic, let us look at God’s word.
- A Christian’s music should be alien and strange to the ungodly. In short, they shouldn’t like it.
- Using music for evangelism is to sing songs to demons and wicked men, and to lure the most
unholy and unrepentant into our temples.
- If we use music to call the worldly to the church, we might as well give away free beer.

Here are some excerps from "A Holy Christmas," instructing how to have a holy Christmas:
- First, do not invite your family over for dinner (Luke 14:12)
- Second, show an attitude of hating and despising money. In other words, don’t care anything
about presents, Christmas bonuses or days off. (Luke 16:13)
- Third, give all your presents to Jesus by giving your gifts away to the poor. Tell others that
whatever they plan to give, that you will give it to the poor who need it more. (Luke 12:33-34)
- Fourth, Make sure all cold or lukewarm worshippers of God are thoroughly rebuked and not
allowed to come to church on December 25. That only those who plan to repent, coming to
church all year long, loving God and others deeply will be permitted through the door.
(Ephesians 5:5-7)
- Fifth, spend time fasting and praying rather than feasting and indulging the flesh with food,
sports, and relaxation. Fast from all anxiety that comes from the preparation for Christmas.
(Luke 21:34)

The Doctrinal IQ Test:
I scored an 11 out of 25, simply because for many of the questions, they offered no right answer. When my score was announced it said "11/25 Have you even ever read the Bible?" Good question... As a matter of fact I have, and I read it IN CONTEXT!!!

Here's the quiz:

1. Which three testify to the power of Jesus?
a. Christians, Blood, Holy Spirit
b. Spirit, Blood, Bible
c. Bible, Church, Spirit
d. Spirit, Water, Blood
Answer: d (see 1 John 5:7).

2. When Jesus said we would be one, what did he mean?
a. That all churches will be united
b. That we would be one with God
c. There will only be one true Christian per church
d. That all religions would be united
Answer: b (see John 17:1).

3. Who are Christians not allowed to eat lunch with?
a. Tax collectors
b. Sinners
c. Hypocrites
d. Musicians
Answer: c (see 1 Corinthians 5:9-13).

4. What is the message of the cross?
a. Foolishness to those who are perishing
b. Just another religious idea
c. A purely theoretical concept
d. I really don't know.
Answer: a (see 1 Corinthians 1:18).

5. How did Paul preach in Corinth?
a. With great boldness
b. With fear and trembling
c. With signs and wonders
d. With stories of victory and recommendations from other towns
Answer: b (see 1 Corinthians 2:3)

6. Who quoted Psalm 91:11-12 to Jesus?
a. Herod
b. Satan
c. Peter
d. A demon
Answer: b (see Matthew 4:6).

7. How should Christian's treat money?
a. They should be good stewards
b. They should have it in it's proper place
c. They should hate and despise it
d. They should use it for God's glory as they see fit
Answer: c (see Matthew 6:24)

8. Which of these did Jesus come to do?
a. Bring peace and goodwill to all men
b. Bring division to men and families
c. Bring prosperity and fun for everyone
d. Bring some nice new moral rules
Answer: b (see Matthew 10:34-36)

9. What must you do to be a true disciple of Jesus?
a. Hate your life, carry your cross, follow Jesus
b. Change your life, go to church, pray to Jesus
c. Do good deeds, perform miracles, preach the gospel
d. Achieve inner peace, become debt-free, live in unity with all other religions
Answer: a (see Luke 14:26-27).

10. How are we to love God?
a. More than any thing
b. More than anyone except our friends
c. More than anyone except our families
d. With ALL our heart, mind, soul, and strength
Answer: d (see Mark 12;30).

11. What will happen to a church which counts its members?
a. God will bless it
b. Christians will flock to it
c. Jesus will leave it
d. People will be impressed by it
Answer: c (see John 4:1-3)

12. Why do most people follow Jesus?
a. Because he deserves to be followed
b. Because they like his teaching
c. Because of what they can get from him
d. Because they love him
Answer: c (see John 6:26)

13. What will happen if the gospel is preached correctly?
a. Great numbers of people will repent
b. Many people will benefit from the good moral teaching
c. Most will find it hard, offensive, and reject it
d. Stadiums will be full of those desperate to hearAnswer: c (see John 6:60-66)

14. How should we treat the command that women should wear a covering in worship?
a. We should humble ourselves and see that it is obeyed
b. We should ignore it because it was just a cultural issue
c. We should ignore it because it is too legalistic
d. We should have women wear hats as a nice compromise
Answer: a (see 1 Corinthians 11:3-16)

15. If you are not married, what should you do?
a. Go join a Christian singles club
b. Do not seek a wife
c. Ask the Lord to bless your dating
d. Pray for a wife
Answer: b (see 1 Corinthians 7:27)

16. How are Christian men to treat Christian women?
a. As prospective dates
b. As prospective wives
c. With good intentions
d. With absolute purity
Answer: d (see 1 Timothy 5:2).

17. Are the spiritual gifts, like speaking in tongues and prophecy, still valid today?
a. No, they ceased with the early church
b. Yes, but only in charismatic churches
c. Yes, of course
d. Yes, but only the ones I'm comfortable with
Answer: c (see 1 Corinthians 14:1)

18. How should someone who ignores the Scriptures concerning spiritual gifts and orderly
worship in 1 Corinthians 14 be treated?
a. They should be completely ignored
b. They should be tolerated
c. Their arguments and justifications should be listened to
d. They should be accepted in love
Answer: a (see 1 Corinthians 14:37-38)

19. How should a married man live his life?
a. He should devote his time to his wife and family
b. He should be constantly attending to his wife's needs
c. He should balance the needs of God with those of his family
d. He should live as though he were not married
Answer: d (see 1 Corinthians 7:29)

20. If you are a true Christian, which of these should be happening to you?
a. You should be experiencing prosperity
b. You should be being persecuted
c. You should be seeing many brought to Christ through your ministry
d. You should be loved and accepted by everyone
Answer: b (see John 15:19-20)

21. Which of these will not inherit the kingdom of God?
a. Those who steal
b. Those who are greedy
c. Those who gossip and slander
d. All of the above
Answer: d (see 1 Corinthians 6:9).

22. Which of these will not inherit the kingdom of God either?
a. Those who are sexually immoral
b. Those with selfish ambitions
c. Those who are envious
d. All of the above
Answer: d (see Galatians 5:19-21).

23. Is it possible for a Christian to have believed in vain and lose their salvation?
a. No, absolutely not
b. Not if they are really sincere in what they believe
c. Yes, its quite possible
d. No, God wouldn't allow that
Answer: c (see 1 Corinthians 15:2)

24. Can a Christian be cut off from God and end up in Hell?
a. No, absolutely not
b. Yes, its quite possible
c. Not if they were really a Christian
d. No, God would never do that
Answer: b (see Romans 11:20-22)

25. Who are those who love Jesus?
a. Those who say they love him
b. Those who pray and go to church
c. Those who obey some of his commandments
d. Those who obey all his commandments
Answer: d (see John 14:15).

After, I finished the quiz, with my 11/25 score, this paragraph appeared on the screen:

If you're a Loser for Jesus (which I wasn't), congratulations! If not, you should be worried. This test was designed to test the basics. Anything less than a top score means you obviously have some serious issues to deal with. We suggest you read the book "Even the Demons Believe" for a start. Remember, you won't get the chance to retake this test on the Day of Judgement.

I guess, I really don't even have anything left to say about this. It kind of speaks for itself.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

If We Can't Laugh at Ourselves...

Satire is a beautiful thing. My high school AP English teacher, Dr. Lynn Murchison, once said that in order to do satire well, one must absolutely know its subject. In other words, one cannot produce a satire of local politics without knowing all there is to know about what is going on with his or her local politics. In the same vein, the folks and Lark News and The Holy Observer, have produced great satire about the church. I certainly applaud them and laugh along with them. We all know the church is not perfect, so why not recognize its shortcomings, write pointed pieces of satire, laugh and move on. I love that the humor is coming from deeply-committed Christians who love the church but see no problem in acknowledging that many churches and certainly the "Christian subculture" have some issues that deserve our critique and consideration. The folks at The Holy Observer state their position on the whole thing here.

Here are some of my favorite articles from The Holy Observer:
Desperate Housewives sermon reference causes stir
Millions of evangelicals return to political inaction
Christian accidentally pledges to public radio
Christian hip-hop artist's lyrics too theologically complex for rap fans

And from Lark News:
Edgy church breaks old rules, insists on new ones
Unusual-looking man in choir sparks concern
Youth group recruits 'superstar' kids
Teen insists Switchfoot just as cool as Radiohead
College students stops kissing dating goodbye
Pastor apologizes for unintentional acrostic

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

First Time Donor

There is a reason why I have had six or seven years of blood donating elligibility and have never given. It goes back to high school, when Dr. Randle suspected that I had mono. Of course, to be sure, he had to do blood work. I wasn't particularly nervous, so I let the nurse go about her business. All was going well, then midway through the process I completely passed out. The worse thing is that (according to my mother and the nurse) my body started twitching as soon as I passed out. TWITCHING! How embarrassing! From this point on, I knew that I could never give blood for fear of passing out and twitching in public.

Monday evening, however, I decided to give - first time donor. Under normal circumstances, I would have never given, but this was a special case. The blood drive was for a 6-year-old girl named Dana who has cancer. Even so, I was very nervous. The wait was long, but my time finally came. Kyle, Dana's uncle, let me borrow his ipod so I could just zone out and not have to think about what all was going on. I was listening to Wilco's A Ghost Is Born, and by the time I was through "Hell is Chrome" I was finished and good to go. I sat up slowly and the nurse asked me how I was feeling.

"Just fine," I told her.

"Um, I think we'll have someone walk with you over to the table."

"I'm really okay. I'll be fine."

But she insisted that Keith, the annoying Red Cross blood donating cheerleader, assist me over to the table. I got to the table and sat down. Alex brought me a Coke. I took two sips. The last thing I remember is saying, "I'm feeling really light headed."

I woke up, completely disoriented with Keith in my face. I was zoning in and out, and somehow I got on this stretcher. Keith made me drink a whole bottle of Gatorade. He made me cough. He asked me if I had ever heard of Jane Fonda, and then made me do leg excerises. It was freezing, and he would not let me put on a jacket. He made me eat Fig Newtons.

So I will probably never give blood again, unless Dana or someone like her really needs it.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Roadtrip 2004-05

This year, my Christmas break was met with a pleasant surprise - a random, spur of the moment roadtrip. My initial plan was to spend my two-week vacation from work in my hometown of Oxford, Mississippi. So I headed to Mississippi, and Oxford was good to me - I got to see old friends and visit my favorite places - Square Books, Bottle Tree Bakery, Ajax's. I got to see my family and spend the holidays with them. All was going well, and I thought to myself, "There is no place on earth that I would rather be." However, my contentment with my hometown came to a crashing halt as soon as Marcie mentioned a roadtrip. Roadtrip? Now I felt as if I couldn't get out of town soon enough!

Marcie and I headed out of town on December 30. Our destination? Savannah, Georgia. Mel met us there. The town is so beautiful that I teared up when we drove in - Spanish moss hanging from ancient trees, horse-drawn carriages, adorable cafes, beautiful homes and churches, and parks and squares every few feet. The next few days were amazing and relaxing and fun. We stayed with Marice's friends from SCAD Laura and Anna, who are two of the most precious girls I've ever met. We drank coffee at sweet little coffe shops. We went to Charleston, SC for a day and stayed with sweet Fran. We counted down the New Year at a seedy, seedy joint. We watched Marcie turn 21. We watched Marcie be initiated into the Polar Bear Club (by running into the Atlantic Ocean on New Year's Day). We gave our waiter named Hung secret cupcakes at the side of the building. We just had a really good time. This roadtrip was exactly what I needed to start this year off right.

Friday, January 07, 2005

For All You "Garden State" Fans...

Dear Marcie, Mel, Keri, Alex, and all other friends who have been insisting that I see "Garden State,"

I have finally viewed the movie. I love it and have nothing more to say at this point than just that. I have every intention of going home after work and watching it at least two more times - to catch all the nuances - and then watch all the commentary, etc. Alex, I finally read your blog that I have been saving to read until after watching the movie, and I think you did an amazing analysis. Anyone who loves "Garden State" should read Alex's commentary that he wrote on September 17. The blog is titled "Garden State" and Existentialism.

I think I may love this movie even more later on today.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Admit It... You Love Surveys

I have a friend named John Mark who is obsessed with e-mail surveys. And I must say, though reluctantly, I think they are great fun as well. The afore-mentioned John Mark is always sure to deliver a fresh survey about midway through any type of break from school. Here is the latest from John Mark (the abridged version), complete with my responses:

1. WHAT COLOR PANTS ARE YOU WEARING? I'm wearing a skirt - brown wool.

2. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? Sufjan Stevens - Seven Swans. It is playing on my computer at work in the School of Theology right now. Someone told me it sounded weird.


4. DO YOU WISH ON STARS? no, I pray.


6. LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? Marcie called me from Savannah, and it was amazing to hear her voice.

7. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT YOU THIS? Wow, John Mark. Are you seriously this desparate for compliments?



10. NATURAL HAIR COLOR? I'm a brunette. As I told Ray Jobberson, this means I am smart and not fun.


12. FAVORITE DAY OF THE YEAR? the last Saturday in April, which is always the Double Decker Arts Festival in my hometown

13. WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE TOY AS A CHILD? my Strawberry Shortcake Big Wheel

14. LIVING ARRANGEMENTS? I live in an apartment with my roommate and friend Becky

15. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? I teared up on New Year's day while I was listening to Wilco's "At Least That's What You Said." I know it's kind of silly, but that song is so emotional.

16. WHO IS THE FRIEND YOU HAVE HAD THE LONGEST? Kari has been my friend since I was five years old. She is amazing and is now about to be a mother! I am so excited!

17. WHAT DID YOU DO LAST NIGHT? I bought five CDs and listened to them on headphones.

18. FAVORITE SMELLS? vanilla, Votivo red current candles

19. WHAT INSPIRES YOU? my beautiful and creative friends; the Bible; beautiful works of art, literature, photography, music, etc., my church

20. WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF? lonliness

21. FAVORITE FLOWER? gerbera daisies

22. NUMBER OF KEYS ON YOUR KEY RING? 7... And I don't know what one of them is for.


24. WHAT DID YOU DO ON YOUR LAST BIRTHDAY? I just had a few close friends come over and hang out.



27. HOW MANY CARS HAVE YOU HAD & WHAT WAS THE FIRST ONE YOU HAD? 2 cars - My first car was a Mitshubishi Galant



30. WHEN IS THE LAST TIME YOU WERE ON AN AIRPLANE? mid-November, coming home from a recruiting trip in Atlanta


32. WHAT IS THE GREATEST ALBUM OF ALL TIME? The Beach Boys Pet Sounds (Ha! Ha!)


First Things First

There's a lot of pressure that comes with posting the first blog. Should it be funny, clever, serious, insightful, thought-provoking? Should it have streams of words in a list to fill the space? I mean, I would hate to do the stereotypical thing and write about how I'm now starting to blog.