TV + the Other Detritus of Life

There’s a lot going on this week boys and girls. For one, I’m on “vacation,” which means that I’m off work and doing nothing at home. No, I’m not even cleaning my house. What kind of vacation is that??? Vacations are for something called “relaxing,” resting from your labors, not adding to it.

My son is home on leave from the Army and is planning a wedding in October with his girlfriend. In the meantime, he is home for almost two weeks before being stationed at Ft. Riley, KS. Sounds fun. We are having a good week getting to know our son again after these long absences. The Army’s been good for him. While in college he went through a particularly existential, “what difference does it all make” period before deciding to join up. We were all surprised that he took this route, but we are extremely proud of him nonetheless.  I pray for peace but hope for full funding of the military’s needs. If you’re going to kick ass, you’d better do it fully prepared. I will now descend my soapbox for more mundane issues.

I’m trying to read way too many books. I’ve started a pile from way back and just keep adding to it. So far, I’m reading His Excellency (a biography of George Washington), The Plague (Camus), The Handmaid’s Tale (Atwood), Glittering Images (Howatch), and Dune (Herbert). Toss in a couple of romances and mystery thrillers for brain candy and you get the idea. Will I get through them? I doubt it, although the Washington biography is a fun read, believe it or not. And even though I’ve got thousands of books in my library, I bought a book at Barnes and Noble yesterday Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell by Susanna Clarke. The plot sounds like the premise of The Prestige.

I’ve also kept up on my TV watching. I was looking forward to the premier of Dancing With the Stars last night. All of our usual professional dancers are back and some new ones too. Is it just me, or does Alec look a little surly this season? Hmmm.John Ratzenberger Maybe he always looks like that. Remember he won the first season with Kelly Monoco. This season he’s paired with Paulina Porizkova. Anyway, they have quite a line up but I can tell right now that Billy Ray Cyrus will be the first to go. Or perhaps Heather Mills, who looks like a psycho chick waiting to pounce at any minute! Scary. Who’s going to go far? Ian Ziering (who’s paired with our reigning champion Cheryl Burke), Laila Ali, Joey Fatone, and A. A. Ohno. Ali looked like she put a very arrogant Maksim in his place for the first time in four seasons! Good for her. He was getting a little insufferable there and now he’s downright meek. Go figure. Clyde Drexler, the NBA star, did well. He just looks like a giant teddy bear out there dancing. John Ratzenberger proves that just because you have a few pounds around the middle, it doesn’t mean you can’t dance! I always like to root for the underdog.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…the hubby and I are trying to make sense out of Deadwood. We’ve started watching it in the middle of last season and we are hopelessly lost, so we rented the first season from Netflix. Interestingly, the first season is vastly different than what it’s morphed into. The lighting and cinematography are lighter. There is not as much cussing as in later episodes. Calamity Jane smiles a lot more. Swearingen does not have this flowery speech that he seems to have affected in later episodes. You know, that stupid 1800’s faux syntax that passed for Victorian speech back then. It’s nowhere to be scene, in anybody’s speech for that matter. Good. I find that to be the worst part of the show. I mean really, do we really expect the settlers of Deadwood to sound like they just stepped off the London stage? Nope. Everyone appears to be cleaner in the first season, too. All in all, I wonder if perhaps the writers were listening to their own press and stylizing the show after that? I do know that without Timothy Olyphant as Seth Bullock, the show wouldn’t hold as much appeal for me. He’s the moral center and the compass of the entire show. Somebody’s gotta do it after all. Keith Carradine’s turn as Wild Bill Hickok will also be greatly missed. Ah well. I suppose now that we know what’s going on we can at least figure out what Hearst is doing. Sheesh!

On Sunday I went to the Baptist church. Those people are hopeless. Or maybe I’m hopeless. Either way, why is it that when you go to church and basically tell everyone you are having a crisis of faith, that they immediately turn tail and run as fast as they can the other way? Even the pastor isn’t initiating any “help” by offering solutions. Ordinarily I’d find this refreshing, but these people have nothing to offer to help those who doubt because THEY HAVE NEVER DOUBTED! I find this a scary thought. How can you even have faith if you’ve never questioned, doubted, or wrestled with God? I can’t comprehend it. It’s the old adage: Having to work for something makes something that much more valuable. No wonder this small church is dying. They are nice people, but there is no fire. The service isn’t “worship,” it’s a good old hymn sing with a sermon thrown in because you have to, don’t ya’ know. I don’t know. I’m dying on the vine here.  Where’s the encouraging, uplifting word of comfort from the body? I must be looking in the wrong place.

Shalom til next time. 🙂


4 thoughts on “TV + the Other Detritus of Life

  1. yikes! i am a baptist. i work for a baptist organization. i do doubt. sometimes b/c of my sin, sometimes out of a response to God growing me, sometimes out of keeping myself in check…where i have to turn to His Word and listening and watching and waiting for Him. doubting is okay.

    a crisis of faith is okay (it has to be b/c if we truly believe that we can’t have crises, then that means we think we’re perfect, which means we think we’re as good as Jesus…and that’s plain crazy!) b/c it makes us seek fullfillment from Him and not from fallible humans.

    the times that i do trust without knowing where i am going, even if they are gut-wrenching and hard and seem to last forever, are times of peace.

    this was a killer encouragement for me earlier this year.

    i think the only part of a crisis of faith that is wrong is if i were to give up on seeking Him.

    don’t give up your search. praying you can find your encouragement somewhere.

  2. Ashli,
    Thanks for the encouragement! I love Oswald Chambers. His approach is always deeply spiritual and practical and always central to Jesus Christ. Thank you. I too work for a religious organization and it makes it very hard to have any kind of faith crisis surrounded by God and Jesus Christ all day. 🙂 Still. I agree. The only thing that will keep us from faith IS to give up seeking him. I don’t think I’m that far along yet.

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