"Beauty confronts us with the requirement that we place ourselves among...the redeemers, the leaders in the protection of life. Once you have seen the bush on fire, you are not going to get out of the assignment unless you close your eyes to the beauty.... [You] either have to close your eyes or go back to Egypt and set the people free." - Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker, "Rising to the Challenge of Our Times"

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

For free

Imagine there were a God who did nothing but make the world amazingly beautiful every day, in a variety of short-term and long-term creative projects, even finding interesting ways to incorporate our refuse and exhaust (and dirty / cracked windshields) into some of the set pieces.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Home improvements

Aren't they pretty? I can't stop staring at them, and how nice objects look sitting on them. And I can look at them and think about building them with my dad, and putting them up today with my friend Lisa. Or, more accurately, watching her put them up and offering a third hand here and there. They are the nicest built-in feature of my kitchen. There is a fourth shelf that we...um, Lisa...put up in a corner of the living room, which is also lovely. She asked me if I wanted to do it since I'd watched her do the other three, and it just seemed like by then she was so good at it, it was a more efficient use of resources if I let her do the fourth one. I made her dinner though.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Word Wars

I just saw this documentary about the Scrabble tournament circuit...which I recommend with the caveat to some viewers that there's some pretty rough "street" language and a bit of illegal drug use. For one thing, it was comforting to see a film about people who are so odd in such a benign way. For another, it made me want to start reading the dictionary. Not necessarily to improve my Scrabble game. I learned that there is at least a 200 point average difference between me and people who do nothing but play Scrabble. Not long ago I had an informal tournament with one of the smartest people I know in the whole world and beat her in very close matches by taking advantage of her nurturing--motherly, if you will--nature (though it's true I was taking narcotic painkillers at the time) so I think that's really as, um, high as I need to climb in the Scrabble world. But in the universe of words known and unknown I'm feeling like I barely know a few that I tend to repeat over and over.

Here's one I learned in the movie: exordia.

I, and many of us, may be a bit more interested in the meanings of the words than a ranked Scrabble player tends to be, apparently. They have to memorize too many words to bother with definitions most of the time. Also there have been relatively few female Scrabble champions and in the film some of the women interviewed speculate that this may be due to the fact that women just can't bring themselves to care about Scrabble with quite the same obsessive intensity of some of the menfolk. I smell a thesis or dissertation here. Anyone? Anyone?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

where have all the muscles gone?

Or more importantly, when will they return? They were here last Thanksgiving for this run in the park. Maybe if leave a dish of kibble, or some cookies and milk, on the balcony for them I can entice them back. Heeah, muscle muscle.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Coprinus comatus(?)

aka Shaggy Manes. These are new arrivals and haven't melted into the black goo that gives the Coprines their nickname "inky caps."

Shown here growing along Branscomb Road. Supposedly edible if one catches them early in their lifespan, though anything called an inky cap isn't all that edible-sounding to me. [Reminds me of Shel Silverstein's Uncle Shelby's ABZ Book wherein he asks the children, "What rhymes with Ink? Dr---"]