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the church of the no-pants subway ride

November 15, 2010 Leave a comment

About a year ago I came across Improv Everywhere for the first time when I saw a video of their annual “no-pants subway ride” in NYC. IE is a group of folks who are dedicated to causing “chaos and joy in public places”. They perform “missions” that range from enacting scenes from Star Wars on subway cars to cell phone symphonies at a bookstore bag check to a fake U2 concert on a NYC rooftop.

After spending way too much time watching IE videos, I’m struck by what a great picture these folks and their events present of the potential of the Church in the world. This isn’t a “christian” group by any stretch, but they could teach us a thing or two through what they do and the way they do it.

1. Starting Parties / Bringing Joy – One of my favorite missions is the Surprise Wedding Reception that they threw for a random couple who was getting married at the City Clerk’s office (video below).  It reminded me of  AWIP’s Wall Street Money Drop, Skyline’s Fat Calf Bash, and  Tony Campolo’s story of throwing a birthday party for a prostitute in Hawaii – all beautiful pictures of followers of Jesus bringing joy and inviting anyone who will to come and celebrate with them. We’re meant to attract, but too often the approach taken is to argue and condemn. Here’s to more celebrating.

2. Sticking out in a crowd together – The other set of missions that I love are the mp3 experiments (see video below). Participants download an mp3 and gather at a particular place and time. Everyone presses play at the same time and follows instructions given by an “omnipotent voice”. It’s amazing to see what people are willing to do when they have the assurance that they aren’t alone. Not only are participants emboldened, they’re obvious. 3,000 people lying down to take a “nap” in the middle of a park kind of stick out. What if those of us who claim to follow Jesus actually did it together in a way that made us stick out like that? If I read it right, that’s what we’re called to do.

Are there times to engage the world around us with serious and strong stands? Sure. Are they as frequent as we tend to think? Probably not. While I’m not quite ready for public transportation exhibitionism, I’m for more parties, more joy, and more of all of it together. Who’s with me?

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Categories: Uncategorized

5 vampires that are cooler than the Twilight kid

October 30, 2010 Leave a comment

Inspired by the season and reading The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan (really good, by the way). I’ve been thinking about vampires. Ones I’ve liked and the one that has been shoved in the face of the world for the past few years.

Let me start by saying I am not an expert on vampires and I am certainly no expert on Twilight. I haven’t read a word of the books nor have I seen a minute of the films. That being said, I haven’t been in a cave for the last couple of years, so I know a little something about Edward Cullen and his angsty, tousled-haired sparkliness. That being said, I’m pretty sure that compiling a list of vampires that are cooler than the Captain of Team Edward is as simple as saying “every other vampire ever” (except maybe Tom Cruise’s version). But that’s too easy (and less fun). So instead, I offer you my well-thought out and researched list of 5 vampires that are certainly cooler than His Poutiness.

1. Count Chocula. Seriously, what’s cooler than the undead helping you kickstart your day by turning your milk chocolate?

2. Keifer Sutherland as David in Lost Boys. With a mullet that made Toby Keith green with envy and cheesetastic visuals, the future Jack Bauer’s first shot at coming back from the dead made the film one of the coolest of the 80’s.

3. Count von Count. This whole list could be dedicated to him. He’d count it down better than any of us. With his WHAHAHAHA and the lightning flashing around him – possibly the coolest of all on the list.

4. Jim Carrey in “Once Bitten”. As goofy and cheesy as this film was and as smarmy as Carrey was in it – he’s still cooler than Ed. While not a classic film, certainly a classic 80s vampire.

5. Maladict from Pratchett’s Discworld series. While not well-known, Maladict is a great vampire character in the classic Bela Lugosi style. Maladict has traded human blood for coffee, but is still willing to use the possibility of throat-ripping carnage to accomplish aims.

If you want some great reads that feature vampires, go with Stoker’s Dracula, Salem’s Lot, I Am Legend, The Passage, or The Strain Trilogy (to name a few). Put the angst down and walk away.

Happy Halloween!

 

Categories: Uncategorized

40 for my 40th

September 13, 2010 Leave a comment
For my 40th, K and the kids put together a basket of stuff that reminds them of me. Easily one of the best gifts I’ve ever received. Here’s the list of my 40 with commentary.
  1. Just for Men – this was the contribution that Caleb was most proud of, but the joke’s on him – he has the same early graying genes.
  2. Iron Man 2 top – I’m into super heroes
  3. MarioKart pez – ditto for video games
  4. The Office notepad
  5. Horse – I’ve liked to ride since the first time K made me do it
  6. Zebra  – heart for Africa
  7. Stethescope – the reality of Dr. J (although not that kind of Dr.) is almost here
  8. Dumbbell – b/c my 8 year old thinks I’m strong
  9. Trumpet – band still haunts me after all these years
  10. Star band – for astronomy
  11. Miles on Vinyl – my favorite jazz artist
  12. Monk on vinyl – another favorite
  13. Tour de France hat – I pretend to be a cyclist
  14. Calvin and Hobbes book – loved these guys since I was a teenager
  15. Hastings gift card – for the reader
  16. itunes gift card – for the musician
  17. Ted’s card – mmmmmm
  18. bbq card – it’s Boomercue
  19. sonic cup / card – the omnipresent Diet Dr. Pepper, easy ice
  20. Bible – so thankful that they see some of this in me
  21. Garden State – love my indie films
  22. Colbert Christmas DVD – and I love my political satire
  23. Sports Illustrated – hoop, baseball, football, even World Cup this summer
  24. Sooner pencil – could be for my Sooner love or the fact that I go to school there. or both.
  25. Tom’s shoes – for my big feet
  26. Reese’s – I have a tendency to steal these from the kids whenever possible
  27. World Vision catalog – one of my favorite ways to give
  28. Thunder foam finger – yep, I’m on the bandwagon
  29. Scooby Doo van – can’t get enough of the Scoobs
  30. Coaching whistle – I don’t think I’ve ever used it at a practice
  31. Computer – I spend a LOT of time on one
  32. Picture of the kids – love those monkeys so much
  33. Camera – there’s always one in my hand
  34. Cubs baseball – my lifelong love and obsession.
  35. Light Bulb – again Caleb – “because I’m so bright”
  36. Apple – for the teacher
  37. Hot Tamales – my name is J and I’m a tamaleholic
  38. Diet Dr. Pepper – see above
  39. Guitar Pick – I’m a bit shocked that they remember I played, it’s been a while
  40. Mythbusters hat – for my love of science (and watching stuff blow up)

It’s good to be known.

Categories: else, family, Uncategorized

our small attempt to save the planet

May 30, 2008 2 comments

I posted a while back about suffering from “ecoanxiety” – the fear that I’m not doing enough to reduce my family’s ecological footprint. While we still aren’t ready to move to the Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, we’re taking our baby steps to do what we can where we are. So what are we doing?

  • Almost every bulb in the house now is a compact fluorescent. Not perfect, but better.
  • I have become an absolute Nazi about turning off lights. The kids are learning.
  • We bought the reusable shopping bags. And it isn’t too bad. I’m also trying to remember to decline the bag if I only have a couple of items that I can carry out in my hands.
  • Still struggling with leaving things plugged in, but the phone and ipod chargers get unplugged as soon as they are done.
  • Thermostats stay at 72 in the summer. Usually around 66 in the winter.
  • Whenever possible we take the smaller, more fuel-efficient car.
  • We’re recycling everything we can think of.

It isn’t a ton in light of what we could be doing and my anxiety is only slightly lessened by what we’ve done, but it’s a start – right?

death threat elmo – the weekly whah?!?

February 22, 2008 Leave a comment

I have always been a bit suspicious of Elmo. Since way back in the “tickle me” days.  The video below is a news report of an Elmo gone bad that now says “kill James” to its two year old owner. I wonder if this is how Chuckie got started.

Enjoy.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: , ,

jim wallis on the daily show – quote of the moment

February 9, 2008 1 comment

Great interview with Jim Wallis on The A Daily Show. It is always amazing to me how Jon Stewart backs off people like Wallis and just listens. The quote this time is the entire interview – enjoy. If the video doesn’t work, click here to view it on the site.

here we go again

October 11, 2007 Leave a comment

After a year’s hiatus it looks like I’m reentering the blogosphere. I stopped when I felt like I was constantly wrestling with having nothing to say and feeling obligated to say something. What’s different now? Maybe nothing. Or maybe there is more to say than can possibly be said. Either way – here I am.

Much more to come. Stay tuned…

Categories: Uncategorized