Monday, January 30, 2012


I've been given the delightful task of reviewing books for Religion News Service to complete my master's project. 

I've found that as I read these books, inevitably, at some point I get curious what each author's voice sounds like. And when I read Mark and Grace Driscoll's "Real Marriage," I was interested to see how they interacted, so I looked up some videos of them together. 

I am currently reading Eric Weiner's "Man Seeks God," and as I am quite enjoying his book I was a little nervous that I might find his voice to be off-putting. 

Voice, I'm discovering, is very powerful to me. I was in an otherwise quiet lounge the other day and there was a guy in there talking and he had a deep voice. Too deep for my tastes. Now, to be fair, I was hungry at the time. But hearing this voice that was not soothing to me was not helping my irritability. 

Similarly I find it comforting to listen to someone preach who has a voice of a register that calms me down, or makes me happy. Obviously if someone is saying something I greatly disagree with, I may not feel calm and thus might not choose to regularly attend that church, but if I trust the person and generally agree with his or her musings or instructions, then I find that oftentimes it is comforting for me just to hear his or her voice, even if I am not paying very good attention, or any at all. 

I am happy to report that I find Eric Weiner's voice to be appealing. And his latest book is quite funny. 

Friday, January 27, 2012


I'm trying on this new lifestyle. 

It's that of a grown up. 

This entails such things as keeping a routine, keeping things tidy, washing dishes more often than...well, just more often. 

It also involves limiting the caffeine intake. 

My office has free--tasty--coffee, which is fantastic. In the morning I of course have a cup. Duh.

Well in the afternoon sometimes I go for a cup of decaf, to feed the need but to do so only in part. 

Well, friends, Fridays are followed by our friend Saturday, and you know what Saturday means, yes? 

That's right, sleeping in. 

Which in turn means that a strict bedtime is not enforced on Friday evenings. 

Which means that Bailey gets a little rambunctious, shall we say, on certain Friday afternoons, and goes ahead and makes herself a cup of full caf. 

Aw, yeah. 

I called Riley on MLK Day from the gym and asked if he was enjoying his holiday. I told him that I had dined on some Raisin Bran and then got started in the exercise department and joked about how I really know how to party, basically, when given a day off.

He didn't find the Raisin Bran too humorous, actually, but rather mentioned that it sounded delicious.

And to be fair, I'm not sure Dr. King would have frowned on such healthy choices. 

But to be clear, this post is not to make me out to be a healthy do-gooder, but rather, boring.* 

Then again you probably already knew that. 

*Not that if you're healthy I deem you boring. Those are not always paired traits. Though, sometimes...I'm going to get myself in trouble if I finish that thought.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Some notes on the gym

First, the conditioner in the locker room showers is amazing! It is not only thick and more effective than the cheap stuff I buy and use at home, it makes my hair look good.

Second, I was on a stationary bike this morning and looked over at one of the TVs and there was a filmed interview/discussion thing with David Frum on.

Get this:

Frum and the people he was talking to were all eating breakfast.

Okay, now I am not self-conscious about eating in front of people, generally speaking. But think about how you feel on,

oh, I don't know,

first dates??

Or when you're having lunch with someone in a semi-professional capacity?

Basically if I'm eating with someone other than friends or family, particularly when I have to multi-task and alternate chewing with polite covers of the mouth with a napkin while saying "Mm hmm" and such, I eat very slowly and don't particularly enjoy myself. Because it's inconvenient and awkward.

In my own opinion.

So I was watching this thing today thinking how awful that would be to have a camera pointed at you for all of this.

Coffee I could do. In fact coffee would put me at ease. And in further fact I'm pretty sure I've thought before that if I were on a talk show--only a little bit narcissistic is this line of thinking--where they give people coffee mugs but as I understand it they are often filled with water, I would want mine to actually be filled with java.

Not only do I enjoy coffee, but it is part of my routine that makes me feel happy and regulated*. So if I were to be in a nervous situation, say, with cameras nearby, coffee would calm me down.

But if I was told I was going to do an interview over the breakfast table, I'd maybe request a single piece of toast and take two bites during the entire show.

Perhaps they were aiming for a sense of intimacy, or realness, but I wasn't getting it.

Some people find early morning exercising to be unappealing. I, on the other side of the TV screen this morning, pedaling away, felt awkward for these people and realized I would much rather be manipulating my heart rate via exercise than by such a terrible social situation.**

Ugh. No thank you.

*Not to be confused with 'regular.' Hardy har.
**For the record, as a journalist, if offered an opportunity to be on television for anything that I didn't consider to be vile or evil, I would probably jump at the chance. However, if breakfast were involved, I'd probably stick to, like I said, toast. And prior to filming I'd probably make sure my mug were filled with coffee, not water.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Prescription for optimum energy

Wouldn't it be nice--maybe it wouldn't--if we could check in on our sleep-radar the way we could check the charge on a battery?

I am sitting here, eyes burning, and wondering if I should take it easy tonight? Exercise? Exercise in the morning? Go to bed early and get up as late as possible, i.e. skipping a workout altogether?

What I do know is that I got a decent amount of sleep last night. I also know that when I woke up this morning I could have enjoyed some more time in my bed, with Dibbs in his bed at the foot of my bed.

I also know that I worked out last night, so from that I assume I was able to rest better, but on the other hand because of the exercising was my body more tired than normal, meaning I really do need more sleep?


See, now if I could just plug in to an energy charge reader, I could perhaps get a little printout that says:


This evening, eat a dinner of lentils, then watch 1 chick flick followed by a soothing glass of milk. Take a shower and retire to bed early with Dibbs nearby. In the morning get to work a little early, but don't preface it with exercise."

Or something else entirely. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012


What makes coffee and Internet searching (catching up on the news, perusing Amazon) on a Saturday even better?

When Dibbs the cat is purring in your lap.

We're catching up on some lost time from the work week.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Who said black and white films were boring?

Several years ago my friend Jeremiah sent me a fantastic video of a cartoon cat.

Today I revisited that video, and have since watched several more. The 'Simon's Cat' videos are the brainchild and masterpiece of Simon Tofield. Apparently Simon is a Brit with four cats (call me).

If you want to meander into the world of one hungry, two-dimensional cat, I support such a decision. Let me help you out with the original video Jeremiah sent me (thanks, bro):