Thursday, December 29, 2005


there is a dear sweet woman at work who is the kind of woman you want to hug. when she smiles it could seem like all is well and radiates warmth. however she persistently talks in babytalk. and the rare moments when she is not talking in babytalk i find myself preferring the timbre of her voice- its richness. but then, as always, she proceeds uttering words in an upper caricaturistic range, and i wonder:

-what first prompted her to speak in babytalk?
-when did it cross over from babies and puppy dogs to the everyday vernacular?
-does she know her voice makes these changes?
-what would her life be like if the babytalk had been penned at an early age?

perhaps she would have been a disc jockey or anchorwoman- she has quite the warm demeanor and personable nature down. but instead, i hug her and pet her shih tzu, casey's head before heading back to my desk.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

hoodlums & thugs

for some reason i find a mix of humor and irritation in my dinner tonight. i decided to have a vegetarian burrito at this dive off of market, and as i am peeling away the foil on half of my burrito this guy walks up to me and says the following.

him: "excuse me, but i had to come over here to tell you how gorgeous you are."
me: "okay"

and then he proceeds to try to sell me pot (but he has to repeat himself three times because his muttering doesn't convey anything other than grunts.) and i leave after my half burrito is eaten, stewing over this urban interchange.

Monday, December 26, 2005

back home

i took the bart from the airport tonight into downtown san francisco. after a weekend of a little so-cal flavor, i ascend upon the escalator into a warm s.f. evening in union square. throngs of people still mill around as if scouring the last dredges of sales before the first rays of sunlight remind them that work awaits. i walk down powell and the cacophony of street noise fills my ears- "spare change," cars honking, the screech of taxi cab brakes and in the distance what sounds like a high school marching band. two drummers pound on their drums with mallets as they walk down the street, the trolley captain rings the trolley bell along to the rhythm of the drums. a middle-aged man resplendent in costume and make-up dressed up to resemble an elf ties balloons into animal shapes. i walk with a piping hot slice of mushroom pizza down the street, taking it all in, reminded that you never know what you will see in this city, reminded of why this is my home. for the moment.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

a folly for the world, not fa la la la la

i've been thinking lately about foolishness and how there's a good form of folly and one that is "raca"/ a not-so-good form.

there's the fact that God, who created the universe and humans and snapdragon flowers, bumblebees and pelicans in all His infinite power could have entered humanity brandishing all that power, as some sort of political figure (which was what many Jews still think is what Messiah will look like), but no, instead, He came in the form of a baby. A BABY- which have to be the most vulnerable and dependent state of human. i sometimes hold a baby aware how fragile their tiny skulls are, nervous about dropping them especially when they are in the wiggly stage. and yet that's how He came down to our level. He pooped in his diaper and had to be fed by another hand- not exactly how I would have pictured the King of Kings and Prince of Peace. i think in some ways He could have taken the wide path, but instead chose the narrow one by which to walk down.

i'm experiencing a tender san diego christmas replete with fog, but still wearing flip-flops. yesterday we met up with a friend and his son at a starbucks. as we talked about his wife who is not in relationship with Jesus, i reminded him of the insight that says "the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God." i can see the folly in all of it, i can, but i think we all have this "ON/OFF" switch in our hearts, you know? and can see how the Holy Spirit is the only one that can flick it to the on position clarifying for us in a light that contrasts all reality apart from veneer- and at this point it's up to each of us to say yes- this is reality and i want to walk in it or the other response is complacency where we choose to go back to what we know, trusting in the known, rather than the unknown.

which is foolishness.

imagine that everything you ever thought to be worthwhile- owning 2 great cars and a nice home, a "successful" job turned out to be folly- that these things will not last, that lo and behold cars break down over time, a house can be turned to cinder in a matter of moments, and unemployment could knock on your door faster than domino's pizza delivers- there is folly in placing all of one's belief in that system too.

here's the deal: everyone believes in something. we are created to worship. the question is what do you believe in/ what do you worship? and will it stand the test of time?

for it to hold all your belief and trust and then not to last, that must be the greatest folly of all.

Friday, December 23, 2005

namer of bands

At the homeless dinner the other night, I sat with two friends, roman and mivan, who are both street musicians. I mentioned my idea of the big hair band “Lothario” to them (think Winger or Slaughter from the 80's), to which I got surly looks as their response. But then I came up with another band name, this time for a death metal band: “ANATHEMA” (which basically is a curse denunciation, a damning, if you will). This would be for a screamer band- the kind where you know they must be saying something, but it all just pretty much sounds like “RAAAAAAR!”

Roman and Mivan liked this one. I think it would be fun to have as a job title: namer of bands, partly because I think a really crappy band name is such a bummer (i.e.- one that is not catchy and/or conveys the band appropriately)- think of how many bands are actually successful at changing their name mid-stream and continuing on in success? Call it marketing or call it a demon for details, but the name of a band is in my mind as paramount as the talent found therein (but then again, I am a name snob…)

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

in the christmas spirit

tonight i began addressing all these holiday cards being sent out on behalf of my company, while burning my french lilac candle and listening to a folky CD of christmas music. a pause was followed with the familiar lyrics to "o holy night"- truly one of the most beautiful christmas songs around, right? and one line caught me:

"til He appeared and our soul felt its worth"

wow. can you imagine what that would be like? coming face to face with the designer of creation Himself, who fashioned peonies to be lusty partying gals of flowers alongside the amoeba, so simple, yet so complex.

in that moment of first entering His presence, what would it be like? i have this feeling even as i type this with my hoodie all the way zipped up, contemplating putting on a scarf, what it would be like: something to the extent of warmth showering all over me, as if i just stepped into the most complete path of sunlight but am not getting burned and even though the brightness emanating out could blind me, it feels as if i am seeing things for the first time.

i think everyone's "soul wants to feel its worth" and this is sought after in things that might fill temporarily, but not over the long haul. i know my soul personally wants to be understood and taken as is without a need for my long prefaces. and i feel this connection this christmas to a baby and a star and shepherds co-mingling with wise men, even as the musky aroma of frankincense and myrrh escape into the evening air. which really makes me want to worship in a repositioning sort of way. yeah.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

a life abundant

my birthday this year became more of an extravaganza which ended with my best friend and i seeing "the chronicles of narnia" movie and then walking the short distance to union square to sing christmas carols.

i had several epiphany moments while watching the movie that threaded over into some epiphanal thoughts derived from a worship night a few weeks ago. these epiphanies come quickly and are merely glimpses into a truer reality to add hue and tone to this reality. i am aware that i am like edmund, trading in the whole world for mere trifles, akin to turkish delight, temporal somethings. and here comes the crux of my big aha today:

it's that we (myself included) live as if this is all there is.

so we amass all this treasure and accomplishment here on earth as if it will stand the test of time, as if it will pass through the fire into the afterworld unscathed. along with this most of us live in debt to have things which can be easily burned, stolen, broken, or made void. and two pieces of truth come into mind. one admonishes us to store up our treasures in heaven where moth and rust cannot destroy them. the other talks about forfeiting or giving up your soul to gain the world, which is aging. if you and i believe there is more to come, your life and mine will be richly etched to live life differently than if we believe this is it, kind of like eating a magnificent meal and being assured of an equally magnificent dessert to come, such as a scharffen berger chocolate pot de creme- you and i would save room in our stomachs for that, right?

and yet we lust. our eyes crave. we even sometimes (or not so sometimes) covet and start the wicked cycle of hoarding and collecting items and accolades, buying into the packaged truth sold to us that this is all there is, this is all we can be certain of.

a quick jaunt in narnia, through the eyes of children helps right this. and for a moment the path covered in lush foliage and flowers leading to the life abundant becomes evident to my naked eye. and i sing christmas songs in response- telling the world, i do believe there is more than this. that i once was lost but now am found, was blind but now i see.

birthday offerings

this year i asked my friends if they wanted to give a gift, to give a book that has played a pivotal role in their life, which amassed a fun, varied list, including:
-- "never beyond hope"-- j.i. packer
-- "the creative habit: learn it and use it for life"-- t. tharp
-- "the alchemist"-- p. coelho
-- "1,000 places to see before you die"
-- "cash" -- j. cash
-- "the phantom of the opera"-- g. leroux
-- "knowing God through the year"-- j.i. packer
-- "it's okay to be different"-- t. parr
-- "tuck everlasting"
-- "a little princess"
-- "bright lights, big city"-- j. mcinerny
-- "black like me"-- j.h. griffin
-- "devotional classics"-- r. foster
-- "the princess bride"
-- "the satyricon"
-- "mimosa"-- a. carmichael
-- "praying God's word"-- b. moore
-- "franny & zooey"
-- "leaves of grass"-- w. whitman
-- "the name of the rose"-- u. eco
-- moleskine sketchbook

so this should last for about a month. nothing like a little light night reading... :)