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Wednesday, March 31, 2004
IKEA is funny.

And while I realize I will never win this war (not without some help...Meghan???) - I CAN keep fighting. (And disturbing.)
To make John happy by adding to the War score in a manner that will not bore or cause you to snore (ha, I can rhyme) . . .

Can you believe she used to represent Disney and that a while ago she said she was not about "sex," but just a misunderstood performer . . .
What to give the hardassed boss or co-worker when you know they're full of shit.

You know what else is cool? Smitty's last link only CONTINUES THE WAR! HAHAHAHA.
Smitty, I love the last link. People are so STUPID. In the FAQ section of the site, it actually says the following:

"Is it necessary to rehydrate your product before use, like any other product?"
Response: It depends on how you choose to use the product. If you wish to consume it, you must rehydrate the dehydrated water first.

That reminds me of an old Boy Scout joke were the older kids tried to tell us that the water at the campsite was dangerous and that we should buy some of the dehydrated water they brought with them in order to be safe. One of the kids actually paid $5 for some. We proptly laughed him out of the campsite when he returned with his water bottle full.
Tuesday, March 30, 2004
Some water-related links.

http://www.circus.com/~no_dhmo/

http://www.dhmo.org/

http://www.buydehydratedwater.com/

Is it awful that I want to replace "reaped" with "raped". In any case, I just got what must be my 50th gold star from my boss. It's a figurative gesture for when I save a life with my immense knowledge (of a small area of web programming and well, other useless stuff too). She really gives them to her kids as points for rewards (you know, cookies...beer). In any case, I've been thinking that gold stars should equal a raise for me. Or at least a beer.


Final money count reaped from our buyout is CEO: $20 million; Michael Smith: $20 ten
While I know I can't win this war....

Mmm....chicken.
Just in case you've been wondering why some of us live in the Ville.
I just figured I'd continue this war.

http://channels.aimtoday.com/celebrity/whisper.jsp?current=29&submit.x=19&submit.y=13
Ah, Howard Stern. Where would modern broadcasting be without him. Even in spite of censorship, he gets to the nitty-gritty details. On a recent show, he interviewed Sting's wife, Trudie Styler. All I have to say is, "Sting, you naughty, naughty boy."

In other news, Janet Jackson was on Letterman last night. While she did not want to talk about the famous "costume malfunction" and repeatedly told Letterman she wanted to move on, her choice of clothing (or should I say costume) made it difficult for the audience to focus on anything but the offending Superbowl body part. Come on, Janet, if you don't want people to keep talking about it, wear something more sensible than a red halter top . . .
Monday, March 29, 2004
My grandfather donated $150 to George W. Bush...Sigh.

And, pardon me while I steal blog material:

LITERARY SURPRISE: THIS BOOK IS NOT BY MONICA LEWINSKY.
Alright, no more rhyming or boobs! I'm such a pesky nosy neighbor: I've been looking at all the places I used to live and trying to find people I knew that gave money in political campaigns

http://www.fundrace.org

Friday, March 26, 2004
In retaliation for all the boobs.

That is all.

Paul.
Fezzik are there rocks ahead?

If there are we'll all be dead.

No more rhymes now. I mean it.

Anybody want a peanut?



Just my two cents.

Meghan
In a moment of office strangeness today, I started rhyming with our division administrator over IM. Some of the rhymes were strangely good, so I am reprinting them here for your enjoyment and ridicule.

#1 - Ode to Dory and an Empty Candy Bowl
thomaspwallace: Don't give me lip
thomaspwallace: Or you can get on a ship
thomaspwallace: Perhaps you will give me some candy as a tip
thomaspwallace: Or else you are going to take a dip
LouiseTkr: friendships are earned and well I don't think you have earned this one, so no candy for you

#2 - Who is the Office Dork
LouiseTkr: Yep Katie was right your the Office Dork
LouiseTkr: and not cause you eat prok
LouiseTkr: oops pork
thomaspwallace: You say I am the dork
thomaspwallace: But then you misspell pork
thomaspwallace: So I have to say you look like Mork
thomaspwallace: and you eat your food with a spork
LouiseTkr: nanu nanu
LouiseTkr: why not a fork you dork

John:

GET THE RING RESIZED. It could turn out for the better for your health in many ways.

1. Mentally you won't be stressed about losing it because it is so loose.
2. Emotionally you won't go though turmoil because it is in your shirt pocket (or in the trash, bathroom, bedside table -- did I miss any?) and you forgot you put it there.

And most importantly

3: PHYSICALLY -- because one of these days it may really get lost and Margaret may have to resort to physical harm.

So I think Iwe've reached the conclusion that being without the ring for a few days is worth a lifetime of not having to worry about it.


Meghan

AND - Diaper Bag Refilled. Thanks
So,

Last night I was telling George about ring story #1 from earlier in the month. Little did I know, I'd be writing ring story #2 the next day. This is rated PG.

As I'm pulling the car out of the driveway, I realize that I'm not wearing my ring. I'm not comfortable sleeping with it on because of ring scare #1 (doesn't warrant a story, I just went to sleep with it on and woke up with it off and thought I'd lost it - then I remembered that I went to sleep with it on), so I take it off at night. Actually, I take the ring off anytime I think I might drop it. With that said, I went back into the house, picked up the ring and carpooled off to work.

The graphic part:

So I get to work without having a great deal of preparation time this morning. Consquently, I have to go potty. I go potty.

(End Graphic Scene)

Back in cube hell:

I send George an invitation to the blog, mentioning the ring story from earlier this month. I look at my finger as it feels light. Guess what? NO RING.

Back in the bathroom:

I look in the stalls and the counters and peek into trashcans. NO RING.

At the car:

I put on Carmex because my lips are dry. NO RING.

Back in the bathroom:

No one else is in the bathroom (and it's pretty early), so I pull the trashcans out and go through them. WHY ARE THERE COFFEE GROUNDS ALL OVER THE CAN? WHERE'S MY RING?

Back in the cube:

I sift through every paper and other item on my desk. NO RING. I IM my boss and tell her as I may have to go home and sulk. She tells me to put an announcement on the message board. So I send an announcement about NO RING. I think about maybe telling Margaret. HELL NO. I decide to go back to the car to look again.

The announcement:

(LOST RING)

Gold ring has been lost. If you find it please contact baxtonj and save a life today.


In the hallway by the water fountain:

I check my shirt pocket.

Back in the cube:

Quickly IM'd the boss and removed the announcement. I resolve that I really will have to give the ring up for a few days to get it resized. This is for the general good of all mankind...and because Margaret might make me do it today. Meghan: diaper bag.
YEAH,

The posts from yesterday have left me speechless. If someone sends me a picture of JB with four hands, the silencing will be complete. OK.



Thursday, March 25, 2004
The milk's gone BAD!!!
Funny Bush Pic
The picture about genetic engineering makes me wish I had four hands.
Continuing with the engineer theme, here are some funny engineer links curtsey of Google:

1) 10 Reasons Why Not to Date an Engineer. My favorite is: "No matter how hard you cry and how loud you yell, he just sits there calmly discussing your emotion in terms of mathematical logic." Wait, I have been accused of doing that, and I am a scientist, not an engineer . . .

2) At Last - Engineer's Explained. My favorite part is under the "Dating and Social Life" header, including "While it's true that most normal people would prefer not to date an engineer, many normal people harbor an intense desire to mate with them, thus producing engineerlike children who will have high-paying jobs long before losing their virginity."

3) Mothers Against Genetic Engineering in Food and the Environment. This is completely unrelated to the engineer bit, other than having engineering in the title, but it was too good not to post. The picture says it all. Yes, Margaret, I realize that by posting this I am opening myself to more "Tom and breasts" comments, but it really was too good to pass up.
Wednesday, March 24, 2004
More innapropriate happenings at Rob's work:

System Integrator: Hey Mechanical Engineer did you have a chance to pick out one of those motors yet?
Mechanical Engineer: Uh, yeah I liked one of them
System Integrator: Oh yeah? which one?
Mechanical Engineer: I liked the one with the big shaft

Meanwhile the 5 of us that are standing around just sort of look at each other in disbelief sort of questioning ourselves - "Did he really just say that? Oh God please tell me he did" Then we all started laughing and the MechE turned bright red.

Ah nothing like gay engineering jokes, I tell you I dont' understand why every guy doesn't want to become an engineer, my work is like a frat house... .Except the girls dont' come here to get drunk and hook up on Friday night, instead they avoid us like the plague.... Maybe that's why guys don't all become engineers...
As for tofu, if you don't know how to cook it, it will suck. This from a vegetarian who has been practicing the sport for 26 years.
Along with the normal 60 pages of reading for today's class, my professor, God curse his heart, wants us to pull a case from westlaw to read as well. Normally, this would be ok and I would have no problem with a little extra reading. This case, however, is ONE HUNDRED THIRTY-THREE PAGES LONG! Needless to say, I am a bit miffed. Hell, who am I kidding? I am dawn right pissed at this arrogant little pissant.

In any event, I now have thirty minutes to read 193 pages of constitutional theory, so that I can appear intelligent in class today.

If you ever thought of going to law school, run into a wall at full speed twelve times. If you survive that, then law school is like doing the same thing, but fifty times and on a wall with hot, metal spikes.
Rob,

Fortunately for me, our rest room is a one john (no reference to the moderator and founder of this blog) affair with a lock on the door (small office). So, there is no chance that I will be caught in an inappropriate conversation. Plus, my boss will never catch me being unsanitary. I am an advocate of hand washing, but no one at work can check to make sure I do it . . .

John,

I am simply giving you crap about being on the diet again. I actually support you 100 percent for being on it, but you don't get enough crap at home, seeing how Ms. Braxton (or is it Baxton) is so supportive and loving. However, now that we are on the topic of tofu, check out this great web resource.

However, I do prefer a healthy steak, though.
Yeah,

I think it's lunch time people or according to Tom, it's "Tofu" time. To that I say, "f-you Tofu".

Blah! I'm the newest TM member....about to enjoy some Nancy's Petite Quiches...ever have 'em? They can be purchased at any of the warehouse clubs. They are damn good albeit not that heart friendly.

Go Hoos.
She amuses herself!
Tuesday, March 23, 2004
Ladies and Gentlemen, after two busy weeks and much procrastination, I am now, officially, Ms. Braxton.

Sorry, Ms. Baxton. Oooooh!
And I thought spilling soy sauce all over my lap was bad. You take the cake my friend.
So I'm talking with a coworker about adding some signals into his schematic (not really relevant), and I sit down in his cube and hear a big rip in my ass..... No, not like that! you people all have filthy minds! So I go to the bathroom and into a stall to examine the damage and there's a rip in the pants from the corner of the back pocket down to the bottom of said back pocket. Well how embarrassing, luckily I'm wearing a long untucked shirt and it should just about cover my exposed boxer-briefs. So I put my pants back on, open the door and get the hell out of dodge... except - one of the VP's is walking into the bathroom, he sees me leaving the stall and not washing my hands! disaster! He goes on to make smalltalk (in the bathroom?!) about something but it was awkward and I was like OK and promptly ran away.

So the moral of the story is
1) Always wash your damn hands, I don't care if you went in there to look at your hair. Wash your hands or your boss will think your unsanitary.
2) Smalltalk? Between formal parties? In the shitter? Not acceptable! I mean there are these doors with locks between people and I don't even like using a stall that someone has used recently or if someone is sitting next to me or anything like that... No conversations in the shitter. Period.
Is there job satisfaction? yes, you can love your job and feel good about it... and when you do love the job there is no desire to slack, because you love what you're doing! I think the question you have to ask yourself is "if you had a million dollars what would you do?" And two chicks at once is not a valid answer!

On the other hand, quit your damn whining, Job satisfaction rants and raves are for Mondays, it's Tuesday and you've lost your opportunity. Tuesday is for doing real work, with some anticipation of the forthcoming weekend. Suck it up you whiner
Seriously,

Is there ever true job satisfaction? I mean, will I ever not mind going to work everyday. Will the desire to slack cease? Opinions, advice, answers, hateful retorts...NOW.

Edited:

Will I ever be living a life in which I can work and be thrilled to be at work? Am I in the wrong place?
Do I just have to settle for working in a place where people shower daily? What to do?
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

Monday, March 22, 2004
It is amazing how innovative criminals have become. From beating up local businesses for "protection" money, thieves now have a host of new technologies to play with as our wireless age moves forward. Check out one the latest scams. Amazing . . .
Sunday, March 21, 2004
Ok, first I have to say that I am happily married and love my husband very very much. I treasure him, and would never choose another man above him.

But MAN do I get a thrill when Dave Barry emails me.
Thank you margaret for the entertainment... The quotations, the news reference both were good, but that game takes the cake. That one's being passed around. Nothing really to say here, I've been sick all week and slept the day away whilst my young stupid female roomate went out to a bar and met her sexually harassing boss there who gave her a drink and then she wound up in the hospital, not drunk mind you ... drugged (in my crazy crackpot mind, and possibly in reality). Man I wish I could've been there.

There, I guess I did have a little something to say.
Saturday, March 20, 2004
Interesting story structure, CNN....
-----
Bush credited his economic policies with boosting economic growth in the last half of last year to "the fastest in nearly 20 years."

He acknowledged the existence of "some economic pessimists who refuse to accept good news about our economy," but said he disagreed with them, adding, "I'm optimistic."

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has said that 3 million jobs have been lost since Bush took office in 2001.
-----
Hm...you'd think CNN thought Bush was lying...
Can anyone else come up with a good argument?
Ha ha a ha ha ha ha ha aha ha ha ha.....

Check out the last guy quoted in the article. Did the reporter go LOOKING for this guy so he could quote him?
This is the best game ever. Make sure you have your sound on. Beware, you may get stuck playing for hours and hours!
Friday, March 19, 2004
New Terror Alert Systems:

Ashcroft

Sesame Street
One Last Haiku

Please let me update
That crash number to seven
I hate this machine.
Another Haiku

In three months I've learned
Internet Explorer sucks
Die, dumb NT, die.
A Haiku

I have been at work
For about ninety minutes
Six crashes so far
Oh Friday, how I love you so,
but why must you go by so slow, sooo slow?
If at home, by now I'd be floored,
but here I remain, restless and bored.

Content I'd be, if I were deep in work,
but instead I surf, like a slacking jerk.
Once and for all, I must finally say
Friday's OK, but I really love cheat day.

Sunday, oh Sunday where are you,
with pizza, fried cheese, and a frothy brew?
On burgers, nuggets, and those tasty fries,
I'll fill myself, 'til I've popped my eyes.

Work for five and workout on Saturday too!
Gluttony will stop me from feeling like poo.
'Til then I'll remain in a bitter, sour mood,
Good morning, God bless, now where's the food?

Thursday, March 18, 2004
I second Jeb Bartlett for President! He rocks! As for Tony, he is a Supreme Justice (as opposed to a Supreme Court Justice). He is among people who can decide what the law is based solely on what they ate for breakfast that morning and whether the syrup dripped to left or right of the pancake. He has his job for life and, no matter what, is free to do what he pleases (unless he does something horribly wrong like die). So, as screwed up as it may be, we have no choice but to deal with it, which means Cheyney will get away with it. With "it" being whatever he did wrong, but not limited to everything and including running under the republican flag.
Bartlett for America!
Berry for US Ambassador to Aruba
In other recent news, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has not recused himself from the suit brought by The Sierra Club to force Vice President Cheney (who is Scalia's close personal friend and the two went on a hunting trip recently) to reveal details of Cheney's meetings with oil companies before creating the Administration's Energy Policy. Scalia could not possibly be biased in this case, as stated in a released statement, and therefore can participate IMPARTIALLY in the Supreme Court decision regarding his close friend . . . Does anyone else think this is messed up? I wish we had Jeb Bartlett for President.
JB, I am glad that your surgery went well. In a way, perhaps it is better that you "tutoring" by yourself and not out partying during spring break. I can't think of a single reason why that is true, but there has got to be something. Ah, here is a good reason. By resting up and letting your leg heal, you still have a shot at playing professional tennis and becoming a international star. Then I can say I have met a professional tennis star, which makes for a great party story. So, as you sit there in the hospital, just think, you are doing it for me and my party story. How is that for a good reason.

In other fun news this morning, everyone's favorite military contractor, Haliburton is in trouble again. I find it amazing that the Pentagon has not completely CANCELED their contracts already. If the company I work for was caught doing something like that, MANY heads would roll. In fact, the company I work for was accused of mischarging the government in the past (we were later exonerated because of some botched government calculations and a "morally ambiguous" subcontractor, who was promptly terminated), and the federal organization who managed the contract was threatening to prevent us from doing ANY business with the federal government for an extended period of time as a punishment (a death blow to any government contractor). Haliburton has been PROVEN to have done far worse overcharging activities mentioned above and we don't see that threat anywhere near being made. I wonder why . . .

Wednesday, March 17, 2004
Ah, Jelani - clearly you are bored, it's been a while since you posted. Rob, you're funny, it's a shame Doug doesn't read the blog. And Tom...he is scary. What's scarier are the accounts by witnesses that the children (and the children who were also grandchildren) were alive when police arrived, and that police didn't respond to the gunshots that witnesses heard. A 14-year-old boy said he was sure officers heard the shots too, because they ducked.
So as I sit at home another day with my leg in the air, I began to wonder because tutoring was boring to do alone. Many will not get that aweful joke until they read that I am a math teacher. Even then, some will still be lost. IN any event, my surgery has gone well, I guess. I only get to see the sun from my window, which makes this the best spring break ever. The only thing missing is the women, drugs, alcohol, parties, and the strategic drinking to stay ahead of the hangovers. Ah spring break.
You have got to love Google, because for most major holidays they do a "custom" logo that reflects the holiday. Today, for St. Patricks Day, they have a celtic knot design on the "G" of the Google logo and it is all green. Furthermore, if you click on the logo, it sends you to a search for St. Pattys websites. Very cool.

In other news, how scary is Marcus Wesson, the polygamist who murdered nine members of his own family? This article makes me scared to think what other "unique" and totally off-their-rocker people there are out in the world.
Tuesday, March 16, 2004
So I'm giving a presentation at work to the engineering team, basically just updating and doing a peer review on what I've been doing, and I get an IM (d'oh, I should really turn that off). It's from the sysadmin at work, he's pestering me to sneak outside and grab a smoke. Except I don't really smoke at work (maybe one a day if that, no time for it) unless I'm being lazy and we do really sneak. So the engineers in the meeting look up and read the IM, and everyone is sort of frozen. I then respond to him (still on the projector) that I'm on the projector and that he's a jackass. At that point, everyone gets a good chuckle and I sheepishly continue on.
Moral of the story: shut off your IM, it could have been a worse message, God help me if Doug IM's me during a presentation.
Friday, March 12, 2004
Well, everyone. I will start this off by saying that I am not really a sappy person. Well, ok, a little bit. However, I got the email version of Allegheny College's Alumni magazine today, and there was an article posted by one of Meghan's professors that really got me thinking, especially given that my parents are starting to show the signs of aging and slowing down, etc. So, this article had a lot of meaning for me today. I post it here because it is something you guys might find meaninful today.

"The Taking of My Leave" by Paula Treckel.
Thursday, March 11, 2004
Go civil rights! Down with right wing appeasement!

Rob, you know that if you want to move back to the Ville, we have a room. We haven't quite worked out the details yet, but I think that in an effort to bring people back to the greatest city in the Shenandoah, John and I will offer up our extra random room to anyone who's trying to come back and get a job, an apartment, etc. You just have to chip in for beer/nonbeer.
This message has been inspired by
1. John's incessant pestering
2. Beers after work with the coworkers.
I need a new job, a new girlfriend, a brother that doesn't pick fights with people on the subway when he's alone. I need to move out of my apartment, lose weight and get a damned oil change. On the upside I went to a great wedding last weekend, saw friends I haven't seen in a long time and I always have a loving cat and dog to come home to. Blah blah blah.


Funny story: my clean cut ambitious coworker/supervisor tells me about a dream he had the other night (mind you, his girlfriend is visiting her family in PA). He's dreaming about one of the founders of the company in a board meeting (and man was I scared at that point.) But he assuaged my fears pretty quickly when he tells me that the founder was pissing him off (happens in real life all too often) and he decided to give the guy a good punch in his face, and the subsequently being fired for it.

Funny story #2: Talking to a different founder about or funding (lack therof) situation the other night, and he suggests that maybe the pornography industry may be interested in the prospect of the high speed, high density holographic storage industry. I then went on to try to persuade him that this was an excellent opportunity for us and as the only young and single member of our company I would volunteer to be the ambassador to such a populace. I'm now referred to as the "Ambassador of Porn" at my company. It's a bit of an upgrade from the Systems Bitch title I got some months ago.

Sort of a backpedaling/amendment, maybe they weren't funny stories but mildly amusing.

P.S. Go MA, our state government decided that civil rights are more important than right wing appeasement 2:1!
Awww. Barf.
Oh yeah:

So last night, I'm getting rid of the 80 boxes, mounds of tissue paper and the styrofoam peanuts (so kindly given to us by Crate and Barrel)...and after an hour and some change, I finish. It's 12:15. Naturally, a person that has a dentist's appointment at 8:30 should be asleep by now. So I try to get ready for bed (the boss is already MOSTLY passed out). To my surprise, what do I find?

My ring isn't on my finger (and no, I didn't take it off). At this point everyone knows that the proper response to this is "Oh Shit!".

I calmly search the areas in the house where it might have fallen off (for 10 minutes). I decided to wake Margaret up...

The next set of events are amazing:

1. I was told (or ordered) to bring in all of the boxes I just spent an hour putting outside.
1a. I nearly went AWOL.
2. Margaret went through all of the paper and peanuts (even the ones I'd gone through).
3. She found the ring in the bottom of one of the boxes (It's now around 1:30).
4. She did all of this without freaking out or raising her voice.

This story is to show that the reason why I take such a long time to make decisions is because I like to make the right ones (dinner is an important decision). While it didn't take me a great deal of time to spot Margaret as a keeper, I clearly made the right choice.

John

p.s. I've decided to get my ring resized.


In a strange series of events, mostly related to the Baxton-Davis wedding, Meghan and I have not spent an entire evening together at our house in over two and a half weeks. Things have been very crazy. But, we had a great time at the wedding and wish both John and Margaret the best.

If you are kind of bored, go to Real Arcade and select the game "Typer Shark." It is kind of fun and you can enhance your typing skills.
I'm sure I have a nose, but I just can't feel it. Damn dental work, if you need a dentist though...talk to me.
Wednesday, March 10, 2004
Marrying Margaret is not so bad. It's just the way I feel about getting back to work that makes me sad.
Friday, March 05, 2004
Poor Martha (literally). She lied to the government and now she has been convicted on all counts, along with her former broker (who was convicted of all but one charge). Now the self-styled "Queen of Wholesomeness" might be placed behind bars for up to 20 years. I predict that she will have trouble selling her image when this is all said and done, plus her company, the aptly named Martha Stewart Omnimedia, will probably go down in flames. That that for $250K worth of stock, when she is worth 100s of millions. That was a smart move.

Martha, you might want to bake one of your special cakes, you know the ones with the lock picking tool center and the file frosting. Also note, it is hard to find nice accessories for the bright orange jail jump suits, as well as to find nice complementary decor items that match prison bar-steel gray. . .
Less than 24 hours . . . Can you just feel the excitement.

As a Public Service Announcement to John and Margaret: "Stay calm and step away from the ledge. It will all be ok. How? I have no idea. Its a mystery."
Hi...just blogging for kicks! See you guys later tonight!
One day, Jim. Count 'em. One.
Wednesday, March 03, 2004
Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear Tom, Happy Birthday to you!!!!!!
(Those who know me know that this is better than me singing it. Which is awful.)

Tom, you will now turn 29 for every birthday for the rest of your life. Enjoy it.
Two posts in one day from me, is the world ending.

Today I turn 29 years old. Yeah for me!!! I got a really cute e-birthday card from a co-worker of mine, and I figured I would share it with you. It is especially funny to me because I like classical music.
Hey guys. Sorry I have not posted in a long while, business travel will do that to you. Scot Bryant sent me this review of Gibson's "The Passion" this morning. While on travel, that was all the news programs were talking about. I got so sick of hearing about it, before it came out, that I vowed not to see it. This editorial has sort of changed my mind.

Paul Harvey's Review of "The Passion"
>I really did not know what to expect. I was thrilled to have been invited to
>a private viewing of Mel Gibson's film "The Passion," but I had also read
>all the cautious articles and spin. I grew up in a Jewish town and owe much
>of my own faith journey to the influence. I have a life long, deeply held
>aversion to anything that might even indirectly encourage any form of
>anti-Semitic thought, language or actions.
>
>I arrived at the private viewing for "The Passion," held in Washington DC
>and greeted some familiar faces. The environment was typically
>Washingtonian, with people greeting you with a smile but seeming to look
>beyond you, having an agenda beyond the words. The film was very briefly
>introduced, without fanfare, and then the room darkened. From the gripping
>opening scene in the Garden of Gethsemane, to the very human and tender
>portrayal of the earthly ministry of Jesus, through the betrayal, the
>arrest, the scourging, the way of the cross, the encounter with the thieves,
>the surrender on the Cross, until the final scene in the empty tomb, this
>was not simply a movie; it was an encounter, unlike anything I have ever
>experienced.
>
>In addition to being a masterpiece of film-making and an artistic triumph,
>"The Passion" evoked more deep reflection, sorrow and emotional reaction
>within me than anything since my wedding, my ordination or the birth of my
>children. Frankly, I will never be the same. When the film concluded, this
>"invitation only" gathering of "movers and shakers" in Washington, DC were
>shaking indeed, but this time from sobbing. I am not sure there was a dry
>eye in the place. The crowd that had been glad-handing before the film was
>now eerily silent. No one could speak because words were woefully
>inadequate. We had experienced a kind of art that is a rarity in life, the
>kind that makes heaven touch earth.
>
>One scene in the film has now been forever etched in my mind. A brutalized,
>wounded Jesus was soon to fall again under the weight of the cross. His
>mother had made her way along the Via Della Rosa. As she ran to him, she
>flashed back to a memory of Jesus as a child, falling in the dirt road
>outside of their home. Just as she reached to protect him from the fall,she
>was now reaching to touch his wounded adult face. Jesus looked at her with
>intensely probing and passionately loving eyes (and at all of us through the
>screen) and said "Behold I make all things new." These are words taken from
>the last Book of the New Testament, the Book of Revelation. Suddenly, the
>purpose of the pain was so clear and the wounds, that earlier in the film
>had been so difficult to see in His face, His back, indeed all over His
>body, became intensely beautiful. They had been borne voluntarily for love.
>
>At the end of the film, after we had all had a chance to recover, a question
>and answer period ensued. The unanimous praise for the film, from a rather
>diverse crowd, was as astounding as the compliments were effusive. The
>questions included the one question that seems to follow this film, even
>though it has not yet even been released. "Why is this film considered by
>some to be 'anti-Semitic?" Frankly, having now experienced (you do not
>"view" this film) "The Passion" it is a question that is impossible to
>answer. A law professor whom I admire sat in front of me. He raised his hand
>and responded "After watching this film, I do not understand how anyone can
>insinuate that it even remotely presents that the Jews killed Jesus. It
>doesn't." He continued, "It made me realize that my sins killed Jesus." I
>agree. There is not a scintilla of anti-Semitism to be found anywhere in
>this powerful film. If there were, I would be among the first to decry it.
>It faithfully tells the Gospel story in a dramatically beautiful, sensitive
>and profoundly engaging way. Those who are alleging otherwise have either
>not seen the film or have another agenda behind their protestations. This is
>not a "Christian" film, in the sense that it will appeal only to those who
>identify themselves as followers of Jesus Christ. It is a deeply human,
>beautiful story that will deeply touch all men and women. It is a profound
>work of art. Yes, its producer is a Catholic Christian and thankfully has
>remained faithful to the Gospel text; if that is no longer acceptable
>behavior than we are all in trouble. History demands that we remain faithful
>to the story and Christians have a right to tell it. After all, we believe
>that it is the greatest story ever told and that its message is for all men
>and women. The greatest right is the right to hear the truth.
>
>We would all be well advised to remember that the Gospel narratives to which
>"The Passion" is so faithful were written by Jewish men who followed a
>Jewish Rabbi whose life and teaching have forever changed the history of the
>world. The problem is not the message but those who have distorted it and
>used it for hate rather than love. The solution is not to censor the
>message, but rather to promote the kind of gift of love that is Mel Gibson's
>filmmaking masterpiece, "The Passion." It should be seen by as many people
>as possible. I intend to do everything I can to make sure that is the case.
>I am passionate about "The Passion."
>
>Please copy this and send it on to all your friends to let them know about
>this film so that all go see it when it comes out.
>
>P.S. From Julie: My daughter, Kristin, tells me they learned at her church
>Youth Group that Mel Gibson stated he did not appear in his own movie, by
>his choice, with one exception: It is Gibson's hands seen nailing Jesus to
>the cross. Gibson said he wanted to do that because it was indeed his own
>hands that nailed Jesus to the cross (along with all of ours.)

Tuesday, March 02, 2004
Ok, no one else has blogged in over a week...hello? Is this thing on?

4 days!