Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Moments of AWESOME

Neil Pasricha has written two books: The Book of AWESOME and The Book of Even More AWESOME. In these two books he writes short paragraphs about life's pleasures which are AWESOME. I get awesome updates sent to my email. Check out his website: http://www.1000awesomethings.com/ My favorite one for this week talked about the point in a book, where you can no longer put it down. I like to call it the point of no return. I love books that have this point. The bad part is that I inevitably hit it around midnight and have to stay up past two in order to finish the book.

In the last several days I have had several moments of AWESOME. This weekend I had many moments that were AWESOME. I went to CONduit 21 which is a fantasy/scifi convention held yearly. Many authors attended including Tracy Hickman and L. E. Modesitt Jr. I sat in on several panels discussing things such as writing a great villain, women characters in fantasy, and streamlining your writing. One of my favorite lectures was given by Tracy Hickman. He talked about the 8 archtypical characters and how in good movies and books you can always these 8 characters. I also went to Tracy Hickman's Killer Breakfast. No food was involved. It was a role playing game with audience participation required. It was a mix of improv, the whim of the Dungeon Master, a musical, and the inevitable death of your character. It was a rolicking good time. I enjoyed seeing all of the interesting costumes wandering around. There were elves of all kinds, pirates, caped individuals, Star Wars characters and other characters of the imagination. AWESOME!

My other AWESOME moment happened yesterday evening. I just got off of work. It was misting with a glow of sun. A double rainbow arched in front of the mountains. Scientifically you can explain a rainbow as the reflection of light off of droplets of water. This to me is a sterile view of a rainbow. A rainbow is made up of 7 translucent colors. It gives the appearance of being solid, but at the same time is ephemeral. I don't want to look away because it may be gone in a moment. The remarkable aspect of this rainbow was the snow on the mountains visible through the rainbow. The snow and rainbow merged together creating what I imagine a portal into fluffy heavenly realms would look like. I could almost see winged unicorns appearing and sliding down the rainbow. The Biblical explanation for the rainbow resonates more with me than the scientific. According to the Bible a rainbow is a symbol of God's promise to humankind that he will never send a worldwide flood, wiping out all the peoples of the earth again. The rainbow as a promise describes to me more of the essence of a rainbow than the clinically scientific one. AWESOME!

What are some of your moments of AWESOME!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Laugh: quotes and jokes

"The human race has only one really effective weapon and that is laughter." Mark Twain

"The person who knows how to laugh at himself will never ceases to be amused." Shirley MacLaine

For those of you who like philosophy:
Rene Descartes walks into a resturant and sits down for dinner. The waiter comes over and asks if he'd like an appetizer
"No thank you" says Descartes, "I'd just like to order dinner"
"Would you like to hear our daily specials?" asks the waiter
"No" says Descartes, getting impatient
"Would you like a drink before dinner?" the waiter asks
Descartes is insulted, since he's a tee-totaler
"I think not!" he says indignantly, and POOF! he disappeared.

For those of you who speak Spanish, this is one my sister sent me:
En una panaderia habia un bolillo y una concha que iban a tener una competencia para ver quien vendia mas, el primer dia la concha desperto temprano y estaba bailando y cantando "la concha, la cocha". Y gano la concha el primer dia. El bolillo dijo que el siguente dia se iba a ganr. El siguente dia la concha desperto temprano y bailaba y cantaba "la concha, la concha" y gano la concha. El bolillo se enojo y disparo a la concha. La concha empezo a cantar y bailar "la dona, la dona"

For those who have strong opinions about Guiness:
After the Great Britain Beer Festival, in London, all the brewery presidents decided to go out for a beer.
The guy from Corona sits down and says, "Hey Senor, I would like the world's best beer, a Corona." The bartender dusts off a bottle from the shelf and gives it to him.
The guy from Budweiser says, "I'd like the best beer in the world, give me 'The King Of Beers', a Budweiser." The bartender gives him one.
The guy from Coors says, "I'd like the only beer made with Rocky Mountain spring water, give me a Coors." He gets it.
The guy from Guinness sits down and says, "Give me a Coke." The bartender is a little taken aback, but gives him what he ordered.
The other brewery presidents look over at him and ask "Why aren't you drinking a Guinness?" and the Guinness president replies, "Well, I figured if you guys aren't drinking beer, neither would I."

Cannibal Jokes
Did you hear about the cannibal who dumped his girlfriend? He also passed his friends.
What did the cannibal's wife give him when he came home late for dinner? The cold shoulder.
Do you know why cannibals don't eat charismatic Christians? They keep throwing up their hands.

A joke that always amuses me
So there are two muffins in the oven. One muffin says, "it sure is getting hot in hear." The other muffin yells, "Ahhh a talking muffin."

I hope you all got a couple of laughs. If you have a favorite joke post it so we can all enjoy it.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

From Adam to Noah

Disclaimer: My math might not be entirely correct, but you get the idea.

I'm reading Genesis and in the 5th chapter I came across the genealogy of Adam through his son Seth. I have always found genealogies boring to read. This one drew my attention in an interesting way. The basic structure is Adam was 130 when Seth was born. He lived 800 years after that and had more sons and daughters and he died at age 930. No one lives to 900 these days. Most are lucky if they make it to 100. For 10 generations people lived close to one thousand years. You only find this in books. Elves are notorious for living thousands of years. Dwarfs are usually a long lived race, but seldom do you find books where humans live for such long periods of time.

Here are the highlights of what I found out according to Bible. Adam was alive to see 8 generations of descendants. Lamech, the father of Noah, was 56 when Adam died. Methusaleh lived the longest out of all of these men to a ripe old age of 969 years old. He is the only one to outlive his son, Lamech, who died quite young at 777. Only two others lived less than 900 years. Mahalel died at 895 and Enoch please God and was taken away at age 365.

None of these men except maybe Adam had sons before they were 50 years old. Seth is the third son of Adam. Cain killed Abel and that took both of them out of this lineage. They might have had daughters but the Bible doesn't say. Noah had three sons Shem, Ham, and Japheth. The Bible lumps them all together. Maybe they were triplets who knows. All it says is that when Noah was 500 he had three sons, and it lists them. The flood happened the same year as Methusaleh died and when Noah was 600. After the flood Noah lived 350 more years and died at 950. Noah is the last of these men with uber long lives. From the time Adam was created to Noah's death 1977 years passed.

Can you imagine what it would be like to live so long? Think of how different the world was 900 years ago. It is mind blowing to think of it. When 9 years is equivalent to 1% of your life, can you imagine how fast the days must have gone by? Some numbers and food for thought as you slide over hump day.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

To lie or not to lie?

Do you ever have those moments where you wish you lied more easily? I was brought up not to lie. In fact I received my last spanking because I lied to my mom. That, however, is another story. There are times that I regret being honest. I experienced one today.
I was at the laundrymat. I had just put my clothes in the washer and sat down when this guy came up to me and started talking to me. I should know that when a stranger approaches and one of the first things he asks is "Are you married or have a boyfriend?" the answer should be "Yes I do." In my case that would be a lie and being the woman my parents taught me to be I said no. This of course he took to mean that I was available and could be possibly interested in me. I realized my mistake when he said, "really no boyfriend." So I quickly regained my feet and said "I have a potnetial in the works." Do I have a possibility, no. But I already missed my chance to get rid of him through entirely dishonest ways so the psuedoly dishonest would have to do. So this guy said that meant that at least he could sit next to me for a chat. He asked me questions and offered hints that were openings for him to ask me out. For example: "with those legs, I bet you're good at dancing." Fortunately he picked dancing and I don't dance well or enjoy it that much so that one was easy to dodge others I ignored, refusing to give him the opening he was looking for. This guy is African American and he tried that angle with "have you ever experienced someone from a different culture." I told him I'd traveled alot and lived in Mexico. He said, "did you date anyone." It took a little dodging to get away from that question. I led him to believe that me and my potential were doing quite well and might be getting more serious. He hinted that we should play basketball at a local park. I mentioned that I was moving. He took that to mean that I was moving away, which was fine with me. I am in fact just moving to a different apartment. Soon after that he conceded defeat and decided to leave.
This whole thing was quite amusing so maybe I do not regret being honest after all. But someday I will learn when a stranger asks me "Are you married? Do you have a boyfriend?" the answer will be "Yes I do. My boyfriends name is... We are very happy together."

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Atlas Shrugged

I understand that some people are intimidated by fat books. I love fat books. I sometimes look for books that have more than 500 pages. I am currently rereading Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. I absolutely love this book. My copy has 1084 pages. The pages are very thin and are filled with tiny print. I bought this book for $3.00 at a garage sale or used book sale or someplace like that. The pages are yellowed and have that moldering older book smell.
Atlas Shrugged is a highly philosophical book full of long speeches on right and wrong and an individuals responsibility to others or to themselves. The phrase summing up the ideas in the novel is "Who is John Galt?" The story line revolves around industry: building railroads, producing metals, building things and a lot of things that I have no knowledge of. However, I love the ideas that the book is built around and the way the characters react to different things. The heroes of the book are strong characters with very decisive opinions. They are described in almost harsh language. The villains are some of the weakest characters I have ever come across. They have no opinions, they don't want to cause harm to anyone or anything, they don't take stands on anything, everything is relative. These weak characters are able to wear down and systematically destroy the heroes. It is one of the few books I have read that doesn't try to match the hero and villain with almost equal strengths.
Atlas Shrugged was written in 1957. The frightening part of this book is seeing how close our society is to some parts of this story. Although I don't agree with all of the principles in this book, much of it is quite valid. Ayn Rand is unlike any other author I have read. Her writing style and stories are challenging and thought provoking. I recommend this book or any others that she has written to anyone. If you don't think you can make it through the long version, find an abridged one. I think it is well worth your time.