March 2nd, 2002

(no subject)

As my mind flicked the switch from unconscious to conscious, before my eyes even opened, I began to go through the checklist. Is Tandra here? No. Are the kids here? What day is it? Friday. So yes, they are here. Instantly my focus shifted to listening and my mind sharpened. I listened for any small hint of activity; a voice, shuffling footsteps, a TV. I hoped anxiously to hear nothing, and was relieved to get my wish. Somehow I found the strength to open my eyes just enough to satisfy my curiosity - how much longer did I have? It was 6:30. I had a good two hours. I relaxed control over my thoughts and allowed my mind to swim again, back into the murkier waters of sleep. I let the daydreams wander where they would, knowing that they would inevitably reach night dreams...

I felt the soft pillow on my face...

I felt the warm comforter over my body...

I heard the ceiling creak and water run through the pipes...

I tossed and turned and stretched and grumbled, but dammit, I was awake.

I looked at the clock again - 6:50. Good thing I was awake, because the kids woke up ten minutes later. I would have been even more irritated about that had I been dead asleep. I flicked on the TV and Showtime had Sean Connery-fest happening. So I watched Finding Forrester and Medicine Man.

Tonight it was a Tom Hanks-a-thon. Forrest Gump, and then the Green Mile.

(Yes, four movies in one day. Shut up, it's been a 20-hour day.)

This brought a question to my mind. I think I'm a hypocrite...AGAIN. I've always bitched about sad movies. I hate them. I hate movies that make you sad. They're stupid! When I go to the movies, I'm going to be entertained, not to be upset. I want to forget everything for a while. Granted, sad movies do that, but I'm trying to escape a little bit. Example (and I'm spoiling this, so be warned): Sweet November. What a fantastic movie! What a fascinating concept, right up until the part where you find out she's dying. What is the point of that? Why? Why build up hope? Why show you a beautiful relationship if it's only desined for tragedy? Why make you leave the movie in tears? I understand that movies and literature and all other forms of art are designed to evoke a response of one sort or another. These movies are having their desired effect on me. My problem is, it's not my desired effect. I don't want to feel that way any more than necessary. What drives people to want to feel this way? Another example: Pay It Forward. I loved that movie, right up until the end. Why? Why do that? That pissed me off. Those kinds of movies just annoy me.

But tonight I realized, I might have a double standard. Forrest Gump, while not a tragedy, is definitely a tearjerker, but it's one of my favorite movies. I'm sure I feel that way because I've only watched it a few times, and I'm not going to ruin it for myself by overdoing it. The point remains though - it's a tearjerker, but I really like that movie. That movie is somewhat justifiable though - it ends on a very happy and hopeful note. So maybe that's okay. But what about The Green Mile? That movie is almost entirely focused on sickness, sadness, death, and the horrible things and people that exist in the world. Watching that movie, one is forced to acknowledge and consider those things. And again, definitely a tearjerker. This one, on the other hand, does not end on quite as hopeful a note. There is some good poetic justice, but I don't think it's enough to compensate for all the injustice portrayed. But it's another movie that I really enjoyed. Is it because through all the negativity there's still a message of hope? Could that not be said about Pay It Forward?

Is there a difference, or am I a hypocrite?
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yeah, so HERE'S some wierdness:

My backslidden ass is taking my tattooed heathen girlfriend to CHURCH on Sunday. TWICE! How fucked up and weird is that?

It's the church my parents slave-drove me to from as early as I can remember until I was 18. Every Wednesday and twice on Sunday. It's their 50th anniversary celebration, and anyone who's ever been a part of the church is invited to be there. Does that mean that on an ordinary Sunday, ex-members are encouraged not to attend? Anyway, I will probably see a bunch of people I used to know. A friend of mine put it well; "It's kind of like a family reunion!" Yep, It's just like that. With people you are curious to lay eyes on again, just to see if they're still alive, but feel really uncomfortable about actually talking to. They'll ask things like "How's your walk with the Lord?"

Tandra and I had this conversation. We talked about the stupid things people say when they're being "churchy." The typical thee's and thou's, and only when the preacher is praying does he say that. Does it make him feel more righteous? Or does it make the congregation feel better about the whole deal? "Yes, God in heaven speaks a slightly different dialect of English than our own, and it just happens to coincide with the form of English that was used when King James had the Bible translated. Purely coincidence." And that's another word: congregation. Where is a group of people referred to as a 'congregation' anywhere other than church? It's an audience, dammit.

Then you've got this one: Fellowship. (Credit to Tandra for mentioning this one.) This church we're going to actually has a meeting area called the Fellowship Hall. What is fellowship? I mean really, "I'm fellowshipping with Brother Schoenwald and Sister Brookins." Where do people talk like that outside of church? It's retarded.

Then you've got the one my grandma said the other day, and because she's my grandma I couldn't call her out on it or even crack a smile. "I know that your parents always tried to raise you the best they could according to the scriptures." What's a scripture? This time even a dictionary definition will do. "According to the scriptures." People say these damn phrases so many times that they become nothing more than conversation oil. Something to lubricate, to go between everything else. People forget the true meaning of what's going on and they just get caught up in the repetitive ritual. Kind of like Catholicism. (Yes, I know. Fire away.)

Here's one, I don't know if this was a phenomenon anywhere else other than my church, but it's one I noticed at a very early age and have still not figured out. You're in church, "worshipping and praising", singing some hymn, standing there. Then the preacher gets up and says "Thank you may be seated." I'm not kidding, that's verbatim. I guess if I were publishing the correct documentation would be (sic). "Thank you may be seated." What the hell is that? Is it too much to say "Thank you, you may be seated"?

I'm told that for the last few months the bulletin board has been plastered with pictures from years past. I'm told there's a picture of me sitting on my parents laps. I wonder if my dad still had his lamb chops in that photo. Or if I still had that gay-ass "part-it-at-the-cowlick" hairstyle. Maybe I was grinning like an idiot, holding an AWANA trophy. "Look what I got for memorizing Bible verses for a year!"

I might hear again the voice that put me to sleep unfailingly every Sunday morning for years. I will also probably see people who I managed at one point or another to turn completely against me. (I know, very Christian attitude to take, huh.) Ah! I could see the kid who was the cause of all my insecurity throughout high school. The kid who pretended to be my friend at church, but then when I went to his school, I found out I was the laughingstock of his class. The kid who, every Monday, entertained the other rich snob-ass kids with stories of me being a dork. The kid who genuinely got along with me, unless someone else he thought was cool was around. The kid who I almost idolized for a while. The kid who I thought was my best friend for two years.

It's his fault that I hated rich preppy snob people, kind of. It's because of all that abuse that I just assumed upon transferring to a much bigger public school that the rich preppy kids were snobs and would make fun of me if I tried to talk to them. I wonder if I'll see him?

I wonder how many times I'll tell my current life status? Hey, I should take business cards. Networking opportunity! Mixer! Need some web design work? I'm your guy! God? Yeah, he's alright. But hey, dig this, I have server-side scripting!

I'm doing this VOLUNTARILY, I would like to point out. I suffer from some illness, I must.