Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I've been tagged....randomly....

So Rustin "tagged" me on his blog for the following "game." I can't believe I'm participating in this, but then of course, the biggest shocker is that Rustin participated in it first... Here are the rules:

1. players start with 8 random facts about themselves.
2. those who are tagged should post these rules and their 8 random facts.
3. players should tag 8 other people and notify them they have been tagged.

Well, here it goes:

1. I'm kind of addicted to caffeine, and I drink Diet Dr. Pepper so much that I'm at the point where I can drink it right before I go to bed and have no trouble sleeping. Caffeine is not a stimulant to me.
2. I once went on a date in a semi. I'm not even joking.
3. I am obsessed with places I've never been...namely Ireland (my homeland) and Maine (because of the book Sarah, Plain and Tall from my youth). I do plan on going both places some day.
4. I have a fondness for romantic comedies about women who are older and accomplished, but have lost or have never truly found love, then happen to find it in the course of the movie. A lot of them happen to involve actresses like Diane Keaton. I had a friend ask me why I thought I liked those types of movies once, and there's probably some deep insight into my life I could share right now, but I will refrain from letting my blog be my therapist right now.
5. My right, front tooth is fake. You can tell when I dawn a large smile because you can see the metal plate to which the crown is attached. There's a lot of history there actually, but the short story is that it's a result of a 7th grade basketball accident where I went teeth first into the gym floor.
6. When I'm playing piano by myself and my roommate comes home, I automatically stop playing and do this weird thing where I run into another room like I was doing something else entirely. This has happened for almost a decade now.
7. I am a self-proclaimed expert at unrequited love. Still, I try to write this off as making me more like Christ - there's lots of people He loves and has demonstrated His love for in far greater ways than me, and they don't love Him back. This makes me sad - mostly for Jesus since I know that it's always worth it to love Him back.
8. I love to write, and let's face it, whether I want it to be or not, this blog, among other things, is a form of therapy for me. I really like using commas too.

Okay, so I'm tagging y'all - if you don't have a blog, create one, or just leave your post in my comment section. You do have interesting things to say - otherwise I wouldn't be friends with you :)

Nadia (because she needs to post. seriously)
Beth Dixon (I know you're out there reading this Beth!)
Doug (Igford's counterpart)

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

why i have issues with "patriotism"

it's so interesting - when i was younger, i used to LOVE the 4th of july. i loved spending the day in town (breaks into some varied version of "thank God i'm a country boy"), having bbq's, shooting fireworks, going down to the ball fields (the happenin' place around town), and actually wearing red, white, and blue or something with an american flag on it. i wrote an 8th grade essay about the importance of voting, and won a full size american flag for an essay i wrote in 5th grade. with each passing year of my adult life however, i find myself becoming less and less "patriotic" and almost becoming cynical about the crap that goes on here in america. am i evil for this? i'm not so sure.

ironically, this fits right in line with some of my most recent posts. i don't know if it's a result of a generation gap, or just a great difference of opinion, but i receive similar emails quite regularly from both of my grandmas on the topic that i am addressing here. this kind of thing DOES NOT scream "i'm thankful and grateful for my freedom" in my opinion, and makes me rather irate (if you couldn't already tell that this was going to be a ranting post).

i received the side bar pic as a forward from one of my grandmas today, and the more i read, the more irritated i became. (click on the pic and hopefully it will enlarge to a more readable state) i'm sure that with the immigration bill just being a big item topic in the political realm within the last week or so, and me recently listening to a LOT of national public radio (which i heart), this issue has been on my mind quite a bit lately. still, i just can't quite seem to get over how narrow minded some people can be in the name of "patriotism" and "love" for "their" country. i would be really interested to see what you, my readers, think about what was said here. do you agree? am i being way too harsh in thinking that these sentiments are crap? i really do want to hear your opinions, even if in stark contrast to mine...

patriotism as defined by my fabulous iBook dictionary is: a person who vigorously supports their country and is prepared to defend it against enemies or detractors. i think there is perhaps something to be said for this. i am certainly grateful to the millions of men and women who have died in pursuit of the freedoms i know in this country, but i think that things like this email forward have little to nothing to do with those people. although there is a definite danger of going so far over to the anti-patriotism side of life that's not healthy, i think there is GREAT danger in also looking at the world or america through "patriot" glasses. what really constitutes our "rights"? the constitution? people's interpretations of the constitution (which are widely varied)? why are we so concerned about our rights anyway? is it just because we want to be comfortable? is it because we want things to be our way or the highway? life and liberty, that i can get behind, but the pursuit of happiness? is happiness really what we should be pursuing? isn't that relative? won't some people's pursuits inheritantly get in the way of other people's pursuits? are we more concerned about policy than people? what is freedom anyway, and (granted i am certainly looking at this with my "Christian" glasses on, and i admit that) why do we think true freedom can be found in policies and laws, and having everyone be "legal" and paying taxes and offending or not offending other people and not found in Jesus? it's unfortunate to me that this country is thought to be based on Christianity. maybe it truly was at one point, but it seems as if every country in the world seems to have repeated lessons of missing the point (mostly because not everyone can agree what the point is), including (and in some cases maybe even moreso) america.

i am grateful that i can write this here on a website to be available to the world and not be punished for sharing my questions and opinions, and it's that "independence" that i will celebrate today. but i say that what we all should be looking at what we are dependent on, and examine that for once. are we relying on what we really want to be relying on or are we defending a lie or our own personal hangups in the name of "patriotism" or our fierce desire to be "independent"? life and liberty are not about me getting my way or having done what i think is best. in fact, i'm struggling every day to first depend on the God that loves me, and then the amazing people (humanity) that he's given me to live my life with. it's amazing how independence has the letter "i" in it, as does patriotism, which brings me full circle with the title of this post, and thus ends my rant, for now! happy examine your dependence day! (okay, so that changed this whole thing into some cheesy Christian sentiment, but whatever)

p.s. i didn't even start in with my opinions about the "language" issues the email forward brought up - in the words of molly shannon's standup SNL skit character, "don't get me started. don't even get me started!"