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Punching Holes [Jun. 17th, 2007|01:10 am]
palegringo
[mood |sleepysleepy]

Nose piercing was bought to India in the 16th Century from the Middle East by the Moghul emperors. In India a stud (Phul) or a ring (Nath) is usually worn in the left nostril, It is sometimes joined to the ear by a chain, and in some places both nostrils are pierced. The left side is the most common to be pierced in India, because that is the spot associated in Ayuvedra (Indian medicine) with the female reproductive organs, the piercing is supposed to make childbirth easier and lessen period pain.

In the west nose piercing first appeared among the hippies who travelled to India in the Late 1960's. It was later adopted by the Punk movement of the late 1970's as a symbol of rebellion against conservative values, and conservative people like parents and employers still don't react well to it, so consider their reaction carefully before getting it done.

Nowadays nose piercing is gradually becoming more socially acceptable, and many celebrities have their nose pierced i.e. Madonna, Lenny Kravitz, Sinead O'Connor, and Slash from Guns & Roses.

---

Hmmm.

I was never one to think that the piercing of the nostrils was attractive, nor is it something that I would normally associate with the Christian congregation.  After reading the above secular reference, I tend to reinforce those beliefs.  I'm not expecting to receive much feedback to the contrary on here, but I may be surprised.

I always wondered how that would affect daily activities - like blowing your nose when you're sick or suffering from allergies.  Essentially, the nose works primarily as the main orifice for oxygen to get into the body, and also serves as the primary means for your body's olfactory sense to gain inormation (though some of that does come from taste, as well).  As a person who's had my share of metal placed into and taken out of my body (and in one case, left in), I don't find the idea of voluntarily punching holes in your body, especially your head, a particularly beneficial one.

One could probably extrapolate that one step further to ear piercing.  I admit that too is somewhat frivolous.  You already well know what Paul told Timothy.  I think I'll leave it at that, as I'm becoming less coherent as the night goes on.
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Running The Numbers: Part 2 - Introduction [May. 27th, 2007|01:00 am]
palegringo
[Current Location |Home]
[mood |pensivepensive]

Following the first day of our Circuit Assembly last week, I had a large group of the normal people over for a BBQ at my place.  It's a decent setup - I provide the venue, they provide the food.  The night before, Dezzy had her graduation from college.  She wasn't able to make it but her husband, Joel, was there.  During the course of the evening, Joel calls up Dezzy to check on her and see how she's doing.  He ends the phone call by telling her that he loves her.

"Must be nice to be able to say that to somebody," I mused aloud.

Another attendee, Tim, says without missing a beat, "Ah, but it would be even better to hear that from somebody else!"

Touché, Tim.  Touché.

Isn't that the truth of the whole matter?  Not just the ability to verbally communicate or reassure of absolute affection but to also have it returned?  Yes, my friends, love is a truly awesome thing to experience.  In my own estimation, the ability that we as free moral agents have to express and experience it between ourselves is what makes us closest to Jehovah.  After all, if "God is love," and love "is a perfect bond of union," would you not agree that the desire to share love in as many forms as possible is vital to our existance? (1 Jo 4:8; Col 3:14)  The capacity that we have been granted by Jehovah to love all of humankind (agape) our brothers and sisters in the congregation (philia), our parents and children (storge) and our mates (eros) is a small glimpse as to what perfection is like.  Surely, every person on the planet likely desires to love and be loved by somebody else.

But one of the main problems that we have, on top of every challenge this world puts upon us, is that love - pure, honest, and lasting love - is so very rare.  And by its rarity, it is made precious and it is cherished all the more so when it finally comes to fruition.  Enduring to that point can be a trial for many who seek it, though.  I know personally that it complicates things others may not consider or take for granted.  The desire to love and be loved can do terrible things to the mind and body - destroy appetite, steal sleep, and even create stressful anxiety.

I had been wondering about this for many years, as I have walked with steps uncertain in life.  Making decisions to allow greater ability at the expense of flexibility and vice versa.  The thought of putting the entire ordeal into statistical and numerical terms had always seemed like a good idea, but, until recently, had not happened.  Over the past few weeks I have been collecting, interpreting, and extrapolating data in this regard, the culmination of which was a spreadsheet that I have on my computer now, outlining the probabilities of a person existing that fits into a demographical spectrum and then also meets certain basic criteria witin that demographic.  The results, while troubling, appear to be accurate to the best of my knowledge.  It is my intent to share those with you, kind reader, in the even that you may seek similar answers to similar questions in your own due time.

I am freely putting this information out for public scrutiny and commentary, and will not be filtering the remainder of posts in this series.  Please let me know if you feel there is something I am omitting, miscalculating, misreporting, or misinterpreting.  Your feedback is a vital part to this process.

May Jehovah continue to be your tower in all that you do.  Love is eternal.

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Running The Numbers: Part 1 - Abstract [May. 12th, 2007|01:44 pm]
palegringo
[mood |contemplativecontemplative]

Attribute it to any number of things... my induced cynicism, my personal experiences, my core beliefs, my romantic ideals, or my frustrated plans.  Whatever it is, I'm now (as I have been for some time now) quite serious when I say that it must be some kind of rare miracle when two people of sound mind posessing free will decide to continue their lifelong journey together.

I intend to show in the following posts the numerical value of such a rarity as expressed in up-to-date figures that I can gather and extrapolate from various sources.  Some of the following will likely be 'guesswork' because concrete figures to specify the criteria I'm looking for do not exist.  The following summation may span over a few days while I compile information and sources.
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(no subject) [May. 7th, 2007|10:43 pm]
palegringo
[mood |thoughtfulthoughtful]

I figured that it was time to do some math.

6 years, 4 months, 8 days.  Add a leap year in there for the extra day.

It came out to 2,329 days. Which, of course, is 2,330 nights.

Well, here I sit, back from meeting tonight.  It feels like something is going to be different this night, and depending on how long it takes me to make this post, that phone call (which I wasn't planning on having till next week) may change things.  My disadvantages are the normal ones that have paralyzed me in the past - I overanalyze, I think when I should act, I rush things that need time and I possibly expect more than others are ready to give.

Of course, a lot has changed in the past 2300 days.  My family has fallen apart.  I've been forced into tough decisions and have had to rebuild my self worth from whatever ashes I could salvage.  I've had people jump in and out of my life.  I've had people that mean the world to me shatter my soul and others grow dear to my core.  I have prayed for one person every night and I still am going to for the forseeable future, the same one I think about every day I live.

And now, in a matter of minutes, a phone call from a new "Her," one quite unexpected.  One so close, but so far.  She's younger, and while she's physically different from my 'norm,' she at first appearances seems to meet all the basic guidelines I've been looking for in somebody for years.  Is she the one?  The answer to the riddle?  The one that will eventually stop that counter that hits 2,330 tonight?  I hope so.  I really hope so.

Of course, that would naturally mean that a lot rests on this phone call.  I've been thinking about it for a long time and as much as I thought about it I could never rehearse it or imagine how it will go.  Tonight, I have an idea.  I think I know the direction it will go and I think that while this isn't going to be 100% what I'm hoping for that the answer will give me something I haven't had in years.

Hope.

And past that, there's the hope of having hope, and that's still more than usual.  Here's to hope.
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Genesis 11:6 [Mar. 27th, 2007|07:58 am]
palegringo
[Current Location |Work, again.]
[mood |contemplativecontemplative]
[music |Can't listen to music when the office is full]

So this video has been making the rounds on the vast intarwebs.  Perhaps you've seen it recently.  Perhaps it's your first time, and you've never seen it before.  If the latter is the case, feel free to catch up by watching it here:



Good, now that we're all caught up :-)

This was something that made me start thinking, particularly the stuff towards the tail end.  When you pause to think that 20 years ago computers were wtill a luxury item that most people didn't have.  30 years ago they were the size of entire rooms and ran on vacuum tubes.  It's staggering to imagine what they are moving towards in the near future, and if the above presentation has anything accurate about it (source files can be found here, among other places), it certainly could make sense where I'm getting the idea behind Ge 11:6 from:

After that Jehovah said: "Look! They are one people and there is one language for them all, 
and this is what they start to do. Why, now there is nothing that they may have in mind to do 
that will be unattainable for them."

Most of us probably remember what happened back then... Nimrod, Tower of Babel, confusing languages... if not, it's a good read ;-)

But it got me to thinking about what (imperfect) humans can do when they set their minds to it.  It helped back then having a common language to make communication easier.  They could be more coordinated and work together.  It hasn't been that way in close to 5000 years... until now.  See where I'm going with this?

I dunno.  We live in interesting times.  Maybe I'm seeing things that don't exist or reading too much into silly videos.

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PSA - Downloading Music is BAD [Jan. 26th, 2007|08:49 am]
palegringo
[Current Location |Work, About ready to turn out the lights]
[mood |exhaustedexhausted]

My co-worker (and a fairly good artist at that) showed me this yesterday, during my cool down period where I'm at work but off the clock, and I figured that it would be received well.  Enjoy!

Don't Download This Song - Wierd Al Yankovic

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Quick Thought [Jan. 18th, 2007|12:59 pm]
palegringo
[Current Location |Back at work]
[mood |irateirate]
[music |Lorrie typing accounting stuff]

On my way back from running around the new campus, the bank, and my place at lunch and heard this commercial on the radio that irritated me.  It was for this non-denominational "Christian Bible-based church" near where I live.  The part that irritated me was their catch phrase:

"Northwest Christian Church: The Perfect Church... for Imperfect People."

... with emphasis on the "Im" part.

But it wasn't the 'imperfect' part that bothered me.  It was how this pastor for this non-denominational religious organization claiming to believe in what the Bible teaches calls his church "perfect."

Fat chance of that buddy.

Maybe I'm blowing this out of proportion... but would anybody else get mad at that?  Or perhaps just find it as awkward?
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Singleness - Gift or Burden? [Jan. 14th, 2007|04:45 am]
palegringo
[Current Location |On couch, at home.]
[mood |contemplativecontemplative]

Is the timestamp function on LJ messing up?  Nope.  This is insomnia.  This is my mind thinking things that keep me up. Physically, I'm likely quite tired - perhaps even exhausted after the past couple of weeks that I've had.  Emotionally, I'm in arrest - perhaps too far gone to be salvaged.  Mentally, I keep going through it in my head to figure out what it is, precisely that I'm missing.  Or not doing correctly.  Or not doing at all.

So I dropped in that trusty CD that keeps up with my thoughts as I jump around from search to search and the title above pops in my head.  Just for giggles, I typed "gift of singleness" in the search box.  The most recent thing I came up with was w96 10/15 pp.10-14. Immediately, my first response was 'odd... I can remember hearing that phrase verbatim from the platform and from other people.'

The article in question only has that exact phrase twice... once as a heading and once to start a paragraph.  More interesting than that is that the word "singleness" isn't in the NWT at all.  Still, being there, and being inclined to do so, I read over that article from 1996.  I had, in fact, been thinking about that - and the subject in general - a lot recently.

How much of a gift is it, really?

I imagine that the answer that you or I come up with can and will most likely be entirely different, so rather than quarrel about whose answer is more correct in my particular case, I will summarize the past several months of reading for you by saying that no, I am not happy with this 'gift.'  I'd gladly exchange it given the opportunity.  This probably will make some people uncomfortable, but the topic did come up tonight, while I was visiting some friends of mine out on the West side of town.  Included in that conversation, at the time, were two married couples, one wife, and one single sister.  I didn't say there what I will say here... the things that went through my head.  The following is a combination of spoken and unspoken thoughts:

"I guess that one of my problems is that I don't really feel like I have a whole lot in my life to be happy or passionate about."
"Well... you have a house!-"
"- I have a mortgage.  I have a place I live alone night after night that adds responsibilities to my life and very few benefits.  A place I don't heat because at night I feel neither heat nor cold.  A place dark and unlit because I know where things are at and have no need to see where things are not.  I have a meaningless possession that I could give up in a moment's notice and that might not be there when I get home.  That is nothing to be happy about.

"Consider yourself.  You're younger than I am, so this may be difficult.  Take away your wife from the picutre.  You'll have to go back to before the time that you met her.  Without her, that means you have no son - he doesn't exist anymore.  Take away all those times that she told you she loves you and take back all the times you told her that you love her.  Take away every memory you two have of being togehter.  Every night.  Every sunset.  Every morning.  Every fight.  Every tear - good or bad.  Every converstaion.  All the times you helped each other to get through a trial... all of it is gone.  And add seven years to your life, one lived just like that.  Instead, I offer you the 'gift of singleness.'  Would you take it?"

(Dramatic pause... I could add so much more to the above scenario but most of it only applies to me... no sense of family, father died when you were young, traumatic experience that wiped the first nine years of your life away, abusive step-father, living on your own for six years, mother disassociating herself with the faith she taught you because she no longer believes it, brother compromising values to find somebody...)

"I'm going to go ahead and guess that no, you wouldn't.  (And, in fact, I challenge anybody to tell me ot the contrary) For all it's worth, you are now married and you are infinitely enriched now beyond that of when you were single."

So, then, what's so wrong with me wanting to have somebody to experience my life with?  With me wanting to experience first hand the give and take of a relationship?  Of me desiring to find somebody who accepts me as I am and truly believes that things will only get better?

And that's in an ideal world.  Add to it scarcity - the infinitesimally small proportion of people that are 
a) single 
b) sisters 
c) in my age group
d) in my general area 
e) that I'm attracted to 
f) that are attracted to me 
g) that we're compatible together and 
h) that feels the same way as I do about my core beliefs?

... this year, I am going to run the numbers.

In other news, I compromised a little myself, leveraging some of my home's finances around where I can now buy myself five sweet years of reduced stress and increased clarity.  Reduced bills and increased generosity.  Reduced demands and increased mobility.  I intend to find her in the next five years.  And I'm sure that I'll be sharing all the details when I do.

To my married readers - never forget that your exchanging that 'gift of singleness' turned out OK for you.  Make sure your significant other knows how much you respect and admire them for sacrificing for you.  Must be something great to hear them tell you that you are in fact loved.

To my single readers - I will either get scathing comments about how I should be using my 'opportunity to serve Jehovah without distraction' or possibly unwritten empathy.  If you feel so inclined to comment on either, please do.  I'm not traditionally one to hide behind private comments and entries though, so I would appreciate the courtesy of a name to respond to.

2Ti 1:3,4.  May your night be more peaceful than mine.

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Ah, distinctly I remember... [Dec. 11th, 2006|02:03 pm]
palegringo
... it was in the bleak December
And each sep'rate dying ember
Wrought its ghost upon the floor.

(I used to have over half that thing memorized)

Not so bleak over here in CA, actually.  We had some freezing rain last night - the tail end of a storm that seems to have moved on.  Now, it's a glorious low 50's with clean air.  Crisp, but not cold.  Days like these make me wish I didn't have to spend it indoors all day. :-\

My house is the one at the end of the street.

I snapped that on my way home for lunch.  I wish the mountains showed up better in the pic - they've looked fanastic ever since sunrise, but hey... what can yuou do?  Of course, that's my house at the end of the street, looking to the East now.
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Another Gray Day [Nov. 20th, 2006|05:41 pm]
palegringo
[Current Location |Just got home]
[mood |gloomygloomy]

So remember in that lengthy entry from this weekend, I talked about that tree in my back yard?  I figured I'd take a picture of it and give everybody some visuals to back up my otherwise drab monologues:



Darndest thing... I know it doesn't show up well in the lighting, but we never saw the sun today.  Wish I knew what could help it out. :-\
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