Tuesday, February 28, 2006

my blog is like beth

i never know where beth will take me. perhaps that's because i'm a guy and for whatever reason i am blessed with the uncanny ability to drift off at just the wrong moments. yes, mother, ideally i would never drift off. but come on, if that were the case, i'd probably have a harem by now (perhaps compliments of this wonderful batch of personals). so, as the occasionally deaf, one-woman man that i am, there should be little surprise that this evening i found myself somewhere that i didn't quite expect: in the midst of a gospel-style worship service. i later discovered that this exhuberant hand clapping, joyous shouting, and singing--a relatively unfamiliar way of talking to God--was merely a prelude to the night's expected entertainment (or more appropriately, enlightenment), a message by Dr. John Perkins, 'the renowned civil rights leader and founding partner with SPU of the John Perkins Center for Reconciliation, Leadership Training, and Community Development (whew--that's a lonnnng title...it comes from spu.edu, but i'm not posting a link because the quote may not be available after today).' dr. perkins shared some interesting points regarding racism, christianity, and the disaster-battered state of the deep south, but it was the gospel choir that first got my attention.

still, despite the novelty of this form of worship, i was struck by an odd parallel. based upon tonight, it appears that gospel music tends to repeat a line or a chorus over and over again. during the course of this repetition, the choir director may tinker with the congregation's intensity or tone, but the words remain the same. shifting gears to a more personal one-on-one (that is man and God) setting, this emphasis on repetition is surprisingly similar to an old orthodox practice (and roman catholic too, i think...isn't there a latin term of some kind? kyrie gaglingok?). in
the way of a pilgrim (or more particularly, the philokalia), an unknown, 19th century wanderer recounts his discovery of the orthodox 'Jesus prayer,' a simple sentence that christians were taught to pray unceasingly. "Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me," they would pray all day, everyday. now, i know that i have a penchant for finding quirky little connections where there are none (take poetry and football, for example), but even now i feel some sense of gladness at this link between the ancient and the more modern pictures of my faith.

earlier today i was asked, 'if you could attend a live concert by any musical artist, living or dead, who would it be and where?' after nearly mumbling my way out of the question, i thought of the many sundays that i've sat on the floor at st. mark's and participated in a compline service. every time that i stare up into the cavernous space of that church and hear those voices rise mystically above me, i feel a reassuring connection with the past. i'm reminded that as i stumble along this journey of faith i'm not alone. the path is well-worn by other men and women down through the centuries. and that's probably why i dismissed elton john, ben folds, switchfoot, radiohead, burlap to cashmere, and other more likely candidates in favor of some 7th century cathedral with an anonymous cluster of monk-dudes singing gregorian chant.

andrew david. 'one too many, version 2' puerto vallarta, day 1.
these were our first 2 for 1 margaritas in mexico.

Monday, February 27, 2006

the first essence [4]

Here is the fourth poem from my unpublished anthology Poems Written in Brady's UCORE Notes at 3AMish ca 2001:

She is frozen
Locked in a box of frost.

perhaps by continually mentioning shaun alexander in the context of poetry i am unintentionally cheapening his poetic legacy. if this is the case, please forgive me, for i must make one final comparison. consider the nfl a symbol for the entire literary history of the world. within this bulging body of work, my anthology, Poems Written in Brady's UCORE Notes at 3AMish, would be best represented by the 2005 nfc champions, the seattle seahawks. and, stepping deeper into the anthology, one finds DiGiorno, the shaun alexander of poetery, the mvp. For more information concerning this poetry, please refer to my post entitled 'the first essence [1]' or other poems from this anthology (simply search 'first essence' in my blog).

andrew david. 'big fish' puerto vallarta, day 1.
check out his eyeball. i've always wanted to say that.

Friday, February 24, 2006

a comic strip

so here's my first ever 17 point scale comic strip. some credit certainly should go to john who had the courage to dream this dream in the first place. you'll probably have to click for a larger view of the pics in order to really understand the comic. also, i apologize for the poor quality of the pictures.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

happy monday to you

yes, i'm oddly blessed; today is my monday, yet friday is less than 48 hours away. still, like many mondays, i'm a bit work weary and unwilling to splatter my brains about the keyboard as i struggle to wittily recap my adventures in paradise. i'll save that mixed joy for another day. in the meantime, i have about a billion pictures from the trip (well, at least 750), so perhaps i'll include sequential puerto vallarta pictures at the end of my next several posts. like usual, i may also do a few picture-only posts.

oh, and here's andrew's calendar for the month of march:
1. study, study, study. gre is on april first. i'm serious
2. escape the evil clutches of jack bauer and the first season of 24. i'm sure that liz would be delighted to know that i watched episodes 1-2 this evening. uh oh.

andrew david. 'day 1' sea tac airport.
ugh. my computer tells me that this photo was taken at 5:09am. that's after catching a cab, checking in, and jostling our way through security. our threesome was understandably exhausted. in fact, i'd been sick for the previous few days and unable to sleep. angie (pictured here) pulled a v-day all-nighter ('a singles party...the best party ever...did i tell you about the jellow shots? ohhh...scandalous...' she would later recount over and over again).

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

goin' to MEXICO!

the 17 point scale will be taking a week long sabbatical in the eighty-five degree paradise of puerto vallarta and yelapa. i will be returning to seattle on tuesday, february 21. in the meantime you can look forward to a final post on the seahawks, a groundbreaking cartoon, and some more 17 point scale nonsense.


Sunday, February 12, 2006

my birthday loot

1. 2 packages of chips ahoy
2. 1 package of ding dongs
3. 1 package of oreos
4. 1 gallon of 2% milk
5. an apple decorer
6. a lamp
7. a basketball
8. korean chimes
9. a seahawks shirt
10. a piano tuning
11. a magnet
12. a set of genetics lectures
13. some cash

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

beth's birthday activity

that's right, today beth turns 25! happy birthday beth! whoohooo!

in honor of beth, please share your favorite beth memory. i'm not asking for your favoritest, just something that's pleasantly memorable.

andrew: i find that one of beth's most attractive qualities is her enthusiasm. whether it be ts eliot, dipping sauces, or some other who-knows-what, she exudes an energy that is both cute and contagious. (and here comes my memory.) during our week long trek through alaska beth got excited about meese. soon she started referring to these phantom creatures as moooooooooose! for example, as we swatted mosquitos and other blood-sucking insects on a woodsy trail in canadia, we happened upon 17 piles of moose droppings, or as beth would later say, 'mooooooooooose poop!' well, you really ought to have been there, but that's my memory, what's yours?

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

back page: corelli's mandolin


corelli's mandolin: a novel by louis de bernieres

"this novel will always [fondly] remind me of nickel creek...once i adjusted to the onstensibly grandiose vocabulary, this was a fun, touching, and (perhaps) epic tale of love, war, and GREECE. i like it, and on the eve of rhett and vanessa's wedding i wish them a love like p&a."

hmmm...when i alighted upon the back page concept, i didn't anticipate the necessity of a fill-in-the-missing-colors post-script to every single back page post-script. oh, well.

first, i should warn readers that this connection between nickel creek and corelli's mandolin is not entirely natural. indeed, they are separated by an ocean, several decades in scope, and an obvious lack of any specific thematic similarity. still, as you might be surprised to learn, music plays an important role in the story of corelli's mandolin. moreover, nickel creek caught the coat-tails of fame as a result of chris thile's nimble mandolin pickin' fingers; did you catch that? mandolin. in any case, to manufacture a similar reading experience, i recommend donning your imagination cap and listening to the pseudo-greek tunes of nickel creek and this side.

from a meta-blog perspective you may note that i appear to use the term 'touching' a bit too frequently in these reviews. earlier i claimed that henderson rain king had a 'touching style.' however, rather than assuming that andrew has a recycle bin vocabulary, lets try optimism. perhaps he's merely a great critic; perhaps once you whittle away all the competing camps of literary theory, the most tangible characteristic of good literature is its ability to touch readers.

back to the review at hand. i'm afraid that the inclusion of a sappy marital blessing may have little personal application to someone debating whether or not to read this book.
on the other hand, when bernieres happens upon my blog, i suspect that he'll feel quite honored (and that is, after all, my aim -- to suck up to british authors). personally, i'd be all aglow if someone referenced my blog in a wedding context (see my great poem 'command' for laudable wedding toast material). for readers other than bernieres, i hope that the inclusion of a wedding blessing could at least produce a bit of intrigue. who is this vanessa? you might ask. and who is this rhett? are there any other names that start with rh? rhiannon...rhodes (but that's a last name)...rhoda....

finally, do NOT judge this book based upon the movie. you see, the book does NOT star nicholas cage. as an aside, i was just googling for a page that said "HE'S AN IDIOT!" in big block letters. while unsuccessful, i found this adorable website. if you click no other links in your life, please click this one. mr cage, this one's for you!

Monday, February 06, 2006

super bowl xl autopsy

i'm disgusted. my philosopher of football (steve) once had me convinced that the those whistle-wearing zebras play a far greater role in the outcome of an nba game than an nfl game. however, i don't think i'd be using much hyperbole to say that sunday's super bowl xl was the most lopsided example of officiating that i've ever seen. honestly, i'm tempted to write a letter to the nfl and demand an apology.

but settle down, andrew, let's take a step back. stay calm...think happy thoughts...

okay, happy thoughts. well, before football there was ping pong. every day after school, my bestfriend and i would sprint into my basement lair and play game after game of ping pong. in fact, we developed an entire pro-ping-pong league. brandon and i were ping-pong gods. i don't mean to imply that we were unbeaten titans of the table; yes, brandon had a killer slam and a crazy-goose style which he recently described as 'a bit out there,' and, yes, the chatty play-by-play crew (that'd be brandon and me) aptly dubbed one of the 'players' on one of my better teams 'stonewall jackson' (i.e., the little white ball of ping-pong goodness just never made it by me), but really our table tennis divinity was less suggestive of our mad-hot skills than our at-will tinkering within the league. because we each managed (and played for) about half of the league, we could doll out wins and losses between our teams with unabashed favortism. in other words, if my bamboo chargers posted a losing record against brandon's teams, i could still pull enough victories from within my set of teams to assure the bc of a mid- to top-seed in the grand, end of the season tourney.

aside from an explosive atmosphere of fun competition, the nfl should bear little resemblance to my ping pong days. it's ridiculous to postulate that nfl commissioner paul tagliabue is pulling strings like some grade school gepetto...right? well, something isn't right. regardless of how i fiddled with the win/loss columns or attempted to stack our table tennis tourneys, it always came down to a gritty showdown, brandon and i in a last race to 21 points.

but the boys in black and white (or is that yellow and white?) seem to think they're nfl gods (more like nfl demons if you're a seahawks fan).

okay, okay, my analogy may be full of holes and a bit silly. after all, i see no easy way to incorporate dropped balls (jerramy stevens) and injuries (andre dyson; marquand isn't that an odd name? manuel, and rocky bernard) into the ping-pong parallel. and how does one explain holmgren's odd play clock management style? in any case, these issues, while important, all seem secondary. let's face it, the mvp award should have gone to referee bill leavy.

my stomach's getting queasy, so its about time to wrap up this rant. before i go, i want to share one last ping-pong memory. occasionally, our ping-pong battles would be disrupted by a parental cry from above or by the low hanging ceiling or, believe it or not, what one of us perceived as a questionable call. in these cases we developed the most indisputable method of settling arguments: 'the do-over.' that is, we would simply serve the ball again and replay that point. perhaps a super bowl with this many bad calls should steel a page from the andrew-brandon playbook, perhaps it simply deserves a do-over.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

seahawks predictions?

seahawks 24, steelers 21

Thursday, February 02, 2006

sonics slip out of seattle?

happy groundhog day everyone! the wind was blowing again last night, so i stayed up late writing silly letters to local politicians. (please pardon the capitalization and lack of character spaces throughout the letter) like this:

Dear Mr. Seattle City Council President,

As I was skimming the sports section tonight, I read the following paragraph from the Seattle Times:

'When asked if the city would suffer lasting damage if the Sonics moved,Licata said: "On an economic basis, near zero. On a cultural basis, closeto zero. We would still have two sports, and plenty of cities our sizedon't have three." '

I hope they misquoted you.

I understand that this issue is complicated and realize that the city may not be prepared to offer another sports team bags and bags of money for a stadium renovation. I'm sure we agree that there are higher priorities than sports (e.g., social services, education). However, I'm still a bit shocked by your comments. You obviously don't spend much time in Queen Anne. During the Sonics season that neighborhood thrives off of business from fans. Idon't know who to believe when it comes to the economic benefits of an NBA basketball team in Seattle, but Schultzy claims the Sonics bring millions of dollars in revenue -- is that zero?

Ultimately, I was most riled up by your assertion that the Sonics meannothing to Seattle culture. Personally, I have many fond memories of theSonics, especially as a kid. Some fans have thirty years of memories.Also, the Sonics players do a great deal to support the Seattle communityin terms of basketball camps and other charity work. Are you calling thatzero?

Moreover, your comparison to other cities is ridiculous! Indeed, whilethere may be cities our size with only two sports teams (can you namethem? i doubt it), there are also cities with smaller populations thanSeattle that have 4 professional sports teams (e.g., Atlanta, Denver,Minneapolis; that's at least 4/13 and I'm tired of checking stats --here, look for yourself:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._cities_with_teams_from_four_major_sports).According to your logic, we should actually be courting an NHL teamrather than evicting the Sonics.

To conclude, perhaps having 3 teams is part of what makes our city great?Don't forget, this team won an NBA championship in the 70's and createdquite a buzz in 1996 - it has a legacy. And the Storm just carried hometheir first WNBA championship. I'm afraid that if you don't change yourtune, you and your pals in Olympia will also have a legacy, that oflosing the Sonics and dashing our dreams for more memories.

Thank you for listening to my concern,


Go Seahawks!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

a four-night pictoral premonition of SEAHAWKS victory

looking into the future, i can just barely hear a chorus of popping champagne corks and the tearful cheers of the 12th man. yes, i see it clearly now: the space needle exploding into bright bursts of light, celebratory fireworks to honor the super bowl xl champions. oh, look i can even upload these visions onto my blog. how 'bout that...

okay, so these pics are from new years eve night, not february 5th. still, i'm sure we'll have some kind of tribute when we win...(please win, please!!!)