Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Bomb Diggity

I was at the shop today when a regular came in. He is an international student that comes quite frequently to the shop. Today he happened to be all dressed up for one of his classes. I commented on his attire saying, "You look nice today, all dressed up..." Linda, the lady that I was working with, also commented on his attire. I went to wash dishes as they continued to have this conversation about how nice he looked. I heard her then say "The word that I would use would be 'spiffy', but that is an old person word." I retorted saying "I still use that word!" ...

Than bantering of word usage went back and forth. All for the purpose of giving this young gentleman an appropriate English word for his vocabulary.

I said he should use the English word "nice"
Linda asked what was hip for a younger generation to say. Then she proceeded to use the phrase "he's the bomb"
I said "bomb-diggity"
Then Nancy,another worker who was sitting down, chimed in saying other various words.
I said "phat, like p-h-a-t", Nancy laughed really loud and copied my "west-side" hand movements and Linda just repeated "phat"

At one point I finished the dishes and joined in the conversation at the counter. In the corner of my eye I saw other patrons laughing and glancing up at us. One, who was in the other corner of the room chimed in and added a few words that his friends use in Philly, such as "pimped" and "jazzed".

We settled on "jazzed" cause Linda liked it a lot.

There is something about this scene that caused me to truly laugh out loud and love what and why I am doing what I am doing. A place that causes people to join in and be a part of the conversation.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Gathering the Brains while Laughing

I must edit some of the wordage in my last post, I agree that my vocab was bit off. Being a tradesman is not "mindless labor." Dave in the comment below (from my previous post) made a good point and I agree quite strongly.

I think I made a lot of assumptions about this trip at large. One that I would be so lifting, shoveling, and running around in crazy circles all week. I thought that the labor side of the trip would be so intense that I would be sore all over. Instead I painted a lot, climbed a few ladders, did some roof painting and patch work, and yeah. It wasn't what I was used to or wanted out of a "missions" trip. I wanted to process, work real hard, analyze, and think about where I am with ministry, what I am doing, and why!?

I was pleasantly surprised though. I am glad that what I wanted was never stumbled upon. My abs got more of a workout than any other part of me. My brain stopped functioning, except for the hilarious side of me (which many people don't know it, but I am funny...maybe.), my tear ducts where in full function (as I cried with laughter), and I did not process, think, analyze or figure anything out--besides being reminded that I need to chill out and rest/laugh a bit more.

Only a few people can pull this side of me out. Which is interesting how some have that effect on us and others do not. Weird.

This is a filler post. But things that I am thinking about as I try to gather my brain and get back into some type of functioning order....

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Ramblings about Mindless Labor and the Sorts

It has been an extremely busy past couple of days. The weather is throwing me for a loop and I agree with my friend Jason; my place is cold and I am excited for spring (even though we did not really have a winter).

I will be gone for the next week or so. Going to Mississippi because the damage is still deep and families are still struggling. I'm looking forward to roofing and construction. I love doing these activities and oddly it is extremely rejuvenating for me. I think many of us have forgotten what hard labor is or how our bodies are meant to be physically fit. I'm not talking about going to the gym but more so about a way of life. It's funny how we have to schedule in exercise, schedule in breaks, schedule in downtime. I think these things happened naturally back in the day, or even now in other places across the world. Some of us have lost a piece of what labor is/was.

When I worked, doing physical labor, I tended to think more. I did that often when I shoveled tons of mulch or spreading gravel. It's a mindless job but my brain was sharp and active because of the mindlessness of the labor...and in the end it was refreshing. Same with walking everywhere, it allows one time to think and relax. Driving makes us angry at the car in front of us and causes us to scream profanities (no experience here, no no, not any...)

So off to Mississippi I go. Hopefully the warm weather will follow me back when I return. It will be my gift to all of you.

Sorry for the rambling post. But sometimes these are just as necessary as talking about art, literature, and the other. Enjoy.

EDIT: take a listen and a read. Arcade Fire came out with a new album and I think they may be on to something. It seems very dark and the lyrics seem very deep. I only heard one song though and looked on their site, so my thoughts are very elementary.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Strange Events and Weird Dreams

I've just finished watching The Science of Sleep. It was a fitting, strange movie for a fitting, strange couple of days. A series of events partook in these particular days and I'm not sure if the movie is feeding into this concept, my lack of sleep, or that it is truly 12:46 in the morning.

I'll start with my frantic evening last Mic night that is, at the Commonplace Coffeehouse. I am the Mistress of Ceremonies. Sounds formal and I would like to say I am awful at the task, or should I say new and un-confident. Either way, I sat in the shop nervously writing down some thoughts in order to escape the events that were about to take place. Few performers were showing up, and i didn't truly want to be there, so I shortly escaped with my tiny moleskin of a journal. It was good.

This was our second open Mic, and in all honesty it turned out pretty swell. We had an upright basses play, which was pretty much amazing. And the conversations the rest of the evening were provoking, quite insightful and educational. Now...after this, I would like to blame it on the caffeine, I went to bed and never slept. I was wide awake and full in thought after thought about what to do next. Is open Mic helpful? Does it foster community? Why is music and coffee so good together? Is it? What is missing?

I believe, when it comes to art, that we have lost a lot of creativity. Everyone is an artist, everyone is a poet...we have made everyone confident and left out no one. This can be good. However, where do we raise the bar and call people to be creative and go beyond choice words or simple phrases that can stir a crowd for a second but then cause normality to settle in once the next artists arises. Where do we cause people to think anymore and cause them to ponder the very words that drip out of our mouths and our hands. As I wrote before open Mic I said something to the effect of; art has become colorless and literature has become empty pages upon pages....

We have become so narcissistic that everyone is right and entitled to their words and thoughts and actions. We have the freedom of speech, but not the freedom to oppress. What does this mean? How do we call people to persuade their audience and swoon them, instead of offend them and call them close minded. Someone told me that we have overcompensated for pushing people to have self-esteem and in reaction have caused a lot of individually minded people who are all right. Interesting.

I was going to talk about my strange dreams last night, yet I fear they have escaped me at the moment, but I know they were obsured and realistic all at the same time. I was also going to talk about my car getting towed and so on and so on.... but alas open Mic and the Mistress of Ceremonies is finished here.