Thursday, October 30, 2008

the very bad landlord 2



you see, a long time ago, say two and a half years, mr. pastor guy was my landlord--apparently leading the mars hill flock doesn't pay as well as playing slumlord in north greenwood.

that wasn't a misprint; after graduating from SPU i spent one year in a two-room apartment across the street from love zone and the liquor store, but aj's basement was the closest i've come to a tenement.

the house boasted 5 dorm-sized rooms and alex, nathan, and i found our way into the smallest. the room was just big enough for alex's bed, a bunk bed, and a dresser. if our blood alcohol level was really low and we timed things just right, we could just manage to walk from one end of the room to the other without knocking a knee against a wall. thankfully, it only took a step or two to cross that vast expanse, enter the hallway, and grope at my dresser, which was sandwiched between the water heater and some cobwebs.

and i had it good. as far as i know, nathan stowed most of his belongings in his jeep cherokee. for those two months of tenement bliss, he lived like a modern gypsy.

i can't blame the minister for our sardine state. nathan was getting married in a couple of months and i was searching for a new roommate; we were too cheap to fly solo in the cruel world of seattle rentals, and alex was too nice to knock us on the head with a crowbar of common sense. i suppose he could have thrown the RCW our way too--there must be a city ordinance against cramming 500 pounds of human flesh into 5 square feet.

which brings me back to aj.

in some sense, aj was charging alex a reasonable price for the room. they were mars hill brothers, so aj probably thought it would be good of him to cut alex a deal. but when alex told aj about his closetmates, the kindly hearted preacher grew stony.

OK, that's a true story, but i don't know where i meant to go from there. at the end of the post i wrote the following:

back story to backbackstage tale of intrigue
this obscure phrase was then followed by a list of names. well, i don't see the intrigue (except in not telling you who was on the list), and i can't recall the story that was supposed to be revealed through the telling of all that back story, but i can tell you this: i can't imagine myself ever doing that again.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

a wedding and a precursor


as of this date, my former roommate, alex the indie music hookup, is married. there were three highlights to his wedding:

first, it was the best wedding i've ever attended that consisted entirely of recorded music. well, i can't be entirely certain of that, but generally i tend to think that live musicians provide weddings with a special, unique feel that is noticeably absent when another recording of pachelbel's canon hits the stereo. somehow sappy wedding music that's live is infinitely more tolerable than sappy music from a CD. however, despite my strongly pro-live perspective, i was happily suprised by alex and katie's wedding. they picked a satisfying selection of contemporary songs that lent their wedding a fresh gravity. the only potential for a musical frown during the event was that they didn't hire our band--that's right, they marched out of the sanctuary to sufjan's "chicago" (!) and they didn't hire us. maybe they thought i was too busy with my usher duties.

second, the food was delicious.

and third, the pastor. he wasn't delicious, and he wasn't a highlight in the traditional sense of the word. it was his first wedding and his sermon aimed at the epic rather than the simple. i think he was trying to read through the bible in 80 days or three wedding services, whichever came first. still, he didn't stutter, stammer, or stare blankly at the waiting couple. it was a decent first time.

no, his highlightyness was more related to his role as the protagonist in a behind-the-scenes tale of mystery and mayhem than any personal trait.

Monday, October 20, 2008

i watch a lot of movies

in preparation for the upcoming film, faith, and justice event, here's another movie-related post!

on january 9, 2008, my favorite movie critic, jeffrey overstreet, provided a list of his top 25 films of 2007. he has since updated the list, but i have pasted the original list below. i have bolded the films that i have seen. of course, i'm not sure why i'm doing this, but everyone likes lists, right?

1. Into Great Silence

2. There Will Be Blood
3. The Devil Came on Horseback
4. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
5. Lars and the Real Girl
6. Ratatouille
7. Zodiac
8. Paprika
9. I’m Not There
10. No End in Sight
11. This is England
12. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
13. Away from Her
14. Once
15. Juno
16. No Country for Old Men
17. The Savages
18. The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters
19. The Wind That Shakes the Barley
20. Into the Wild

21. La Vie en Rose
22. Climates
23. God Grew Tired of Us

24. Manufactured Landscapes
25. Jindabyne

  • Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
  • Waitress
  • Eastern Promises
  • The Darjeeling Limited
  • The Namesake
  • Offside
  • The Lookout
  • Dan in Real Life
  • The Simpsons Movie
  • The Bourne Ultimatum
  • The Host
  • Bella
  • Amazing Grace
  • Hot Fuzz
  • Knocked Up
Others that Jeffrey hasn't seen
  • 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days
  • Gone Baby Gone
  • Syndromes and a Century
  • Ten Canoes
  • Great World of Sound
  • Ghosts of Cité Soleil
  • My Kid Could Paint That
  • Rescue Dawn
  • Persepolis
  • Talk to Me
  • Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
  • Rocket Science
  • American Gangster
  • The Great Debaters

Thursday, October 16, 2008

i have to get ready

i really like this video.

and also, if you happen to know anyone with a commercial popcorn maker that i might be able to borrow for the Film, Faith, and Justice festival at Mars Hill Graduate School next weekend, please let me know!

Sunday, October 12, 2008


in case you haven't heard, the other journal is putting on the third annual showing of their film, faith, and justice (FFJ) festival. i haven't been yet, but it seems like a great event--award winning documentaries from the human rights watch traveling film festival, crazy cool speakers from around the nation, discussion panels that include local community leaders, nonprofit volunteer opportunities--wow.

generally speaking, when i watch films like
hotel rwanda or the devil came on horseback, i'm paralyzed by a stark understanding of my own monetary, time, knowledge, and geographical limitations; i'm caught by that ugly question, what now? however, with FFJ, i'm hopeful that the illuminating lectures, discussions, and nonprofit booths will help provide some context, thought, and directive for how i am to respond to these kinds of films.

you can check out FFJ on facebook or the FFJ site (buy tickets here).

you can see some of the movie previews here:

also, monday night at 5pm (october 12), there's a mock debate at the SE senior center at rainier and holly. if you go, be sure to say hi to mike and mari, friends of the 17 point scale, and perhaps me.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

my vocation


i sometimes wonder about the utility of my vocation. if society is sucked down the tubes of economic ruin, my job would be one of the first to go. if the global market crashed, my wordsmithing skills and knowledge of grammar would make me an eloquent beggar, but a beggar i'd be. and when i'm feeling doubtful about my career path, these thoughts make my skills seem insignificant: i don't have a practical skill, i think, i can't build houses, kill deer, or fix automobiles. i can't heal insomniacs, calculate foreign tax returns, or operate an oil refinery.

i'm not sure where i was going with that--in fact, one of the labels for this post was originally "soccer"; i don't know how that fits in--but i suppose it's all true. if you think of maslow's hierarchy of needs (remember, that pyramid from your freshman psychology class), art is somewhere at the top. but does that mean that my intended profession is less valuable than the professions that may occupy the bottom? or, conversely, does that mean that my intended profession is more valuable than the professions at the bottom? does it matter?

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

good 17 points scale news!

at the request of my reader, i have prepared a little bit more content for the 17 point scale, at least 8 posts in fact!

[photo by andrew david. "we shall be happy again!" somewhere in the cascades, wa.]