The Taser's Edge


Word of the Day: Kerploding

If you know Futurama, then hopefully you remember one of Fry‘s greatest lines, shouted right before he runs out of the Planet Express ship and plummets to the planet below: “The planet’s kerploding!”

(Side note: it is ridiculous how many terrible YouTube fan videos of Futurama there are out there, making this one of the better ones.)

Yesterday was all about kerploding.  In the morning, Holly’s and my alarms went off at 5:30, and it was raining outside.  The strange part was that it was raining harder on one side of the house than the other.  Not a normal occurrence.  And then it wasn’t rain.  It was water spraying out of a hole in the hot water hose on the back of our washer.  Gallons and gallons and gallons very quickly onto our hardwood, covering the floor of the laundry room, the nearby hallway, half of the kitchen, and half of the pantry (and somehow not into Holly’s closet).  Holly took a brutally cold shower and left for work.  I was at home for the day anyway, so I started cleaning up.

Shortly thereafter my day kerploded, or at least my entire will toward productivity.  I must have watched seven hours of YouTube and Onion News Network, along with catching up on plenty of blogs and online news.  It was awful.  I would almost have rather been under the dentist’s drill for that long, because at least then I would have felt like I accomplished something.

Then, this afternoon I called the head of the Duke Pastoral Care to see if they had made the final decisions about which two of their 2009-2010 CPE residents were going to be in End of Life Care…and it’s not me.  Still dealing with particular kerploding dream.

Not to say the other ones are quite cleaned up yet either.  On the (perhaps) bright side, today is the Third Annual Divinity School Kegger.  The rumored brew: Pilsner Urquell.

Bonus: When you Google the phrase “The Planet’s Kerploding,” a video of a proggy instrumental band named Ubik (I would assume after the Philip K. Dick novel) comes up, with their song of that title.  They’re pretty decent if you like that sort of music (Mogwai, Explosions in the Sky, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Berry, etc.).

Also, yesterday broke my two month daily blogging streak.  That’s probably a good thing; I tend to get obsessive about things like that.



Spring Break Report

I. Projects and Procrastination

I’m never all that good with breaks.  In terms I’ve used to voice the problem to many people many times, “Without enough to do, my brain starts to eat itself.”  There is also a different problem going on inside me, and it is my particular brand of procrastination.  The more I need to do something, the more I don’t want to do it.  What’s worse, when I am encouraged or reminded to do that something which I need to do, I become all the more stubborn that I won’t do it.  (I wanted to use ‘recalcitrant’ just then, but ‘stubborn’ is easier to use in a sentence.)  I’ve woken up every day this week and not wanted to get out of bed for fear of messing up the day.  And each night, I’ve not wanted to go to bed, because that late in the day I can let myself off the hook for wasting time.  I’m telling you because I know it’s unhealthy, by the way.

This week, the project was writing a sermon for tomorrow morning.  It is done.  (I’m thinking about posting it tomorrow.)  It was mostly done yesterday, and I even started it on Monday.  That is not to say, however, that it didn’t stress me out.  The other project which would have been great to finish would have been my Application for Holy Orders for the AMiA, and also all the kind official letters to official people in the UMC, telling them what they already know, that I have left them.

II. Reading and Reading

Other business.  As I look over several recent posts, it seems like so much of what I write is about books.  To make it official, you should know that Holly invented a quiz for us both to take: “What is your favorite thing to do?”  Her answer: laughing.  My answer: reading.  The real question is therefore not why I write so much about reading, but why she writes so little about laughing.

And this break, I have indeed read.  Almost all graphic novels, a Christian leadership book, and then Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time.  That book is so amazing.  I think I read it when I was too young.  Or I might have claimed to have read it in imitation of my idolized older brother.  The same thing happened with The Lord of the Rings; I know I read at least the first couple of those, but I don’t remember anything at all that wasn’t also covered in the movie.  Among other things in which I aped Zack: asking Jesus into my heart at the kitchen table two weeks after Zack had done the same; reading Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy; claiming as a toddler that I had somehow had the exact same dream as he had had the night before, a claim which mysteriously only came up after he had described his own dream to Mom.  The weird thing is that I actually remembered having that dream for myself for a long time, and only later realized that it was probably impossible, and that I had most likely given myself a fake memory.

To return to reading, I am very disappointed in Duke and the Durham Downtown Library that neither has the full Wrinkle in Time series, but I was able to request A Wind in the Door from one of the branches.  I am disappointed in Duke alone for failing to carry the 2008 sequel (and second volume) to one of the best books of 2006, The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing: Traitor to the Nation, but Durham Library is vindicated on this count, and the book is in my sweaty-with-anticipation grasp.  If I haven’t yet told you to read it (yes, Wen, this is the one I told you to read) and you fancy yourself an interesting and interested person, you must read at least the first volume by M.T. Anderson.  I don’t really believe in the concept of an instant classic, but that first volume is one.  Synopsis of volume 1: The beginnings of the Revolutionary War as told by an African slave who doesn’t realize he is an African slave because he is raised by Enlightenment Christian philosopher/scientists as an experiment to see if an African can receive a classical education as well as a European.

And, again following the path of my older brother, Zack (as well as my own interest in David Lynch, Kyle MacLachlan, and speculative/science fiction, and I don’t even know if he’s read these particular books), I also checked out Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and Frank Herbert’s Dune.  As you can see, I don’t read much in the way of stuff that’s not well-known, (or at least that’s not well-known in its own particular circle).  But I do try to read widely.  My recent philosophy of reading has tried to give up on lifetime reading plans.  As long as my reading setting is stuck on “Voracious,” and as long as I continue to follow my random interests, I think I’ll probably be fine.