In Lay Terms

Random Ramblings From a Church Nerd

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Snowed In

Sometimes God forces you to take a sabbath day, or in this case a whole sabbath weekend. This snowstorm was perfect. It didn't start until late Friday night. The bulk of it came on Saturday, when we had no plans to be anywhere.

Yesterday, we spent the day indoors. My other half fixed a leak in the bathtub. I graded Critical Thinking papers. We watched The Departed (not a feel-good movie, by the way). Our roommate had a friend come over. We stayed up late talking to her and watching videos of Sex and the City. By the end of the evening, she decided to just sleep at our house.

It's not snowing right now, but everything is covered with a blanket of the white stuff. I'm sure I won't like it when we start trying to remove the snow from our driveway, but for now, I'm enjoying curling up at home with a cup of tea.

After several weeks of business, this is a perfect treat. I'm doing things at my own pace and I'm really liking it. I also think my attitude is shifting because my business of the month of February has ended. Yesterday, I hosted chapel with a VP of Minnesota Public Radio. It was a very full day. This week, I don't have any major meetings or events scheduled, although I have enough to do. There is no staying late at work.

I haven't looked much to see if anyone got hurt this weekend. I feel like we had so much warning that this storm was coming that sensible people should have prepared for it and not driven anywhere. The storm in Minneapolis is also not as big as they once said it would be. I don't think we have more than 10 inches of snow at our house. It's worse further south (as I understand it).

Usually, I'm not a big fan of snow, especially nearing the end of winter. But this time, I'm gladdened by it.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Happy Ash Wednesday

Here we are again. It's Lent. I have the ashes on my forehead (although, the cross has become a smudge by this point). I've had the body and blood of Christ. Not an Alleluia to see heard for weeks.

I don't really have a Lenten discipline. More often then not, Lent is a state of mind. My behavior doesn't change so much, but my attitude does.

I won't write much tonight, but I'm ready for a contemplative forty days.

God have mercy.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Breaking Up with Northwest Airlines

At one time, I was a very dedicated Northwest traveler. I live in Minneapolis, and Northwest commands at least 80% of the flights that leave from here. Their monopoly made it difficult to NOT be a Northwest traveler.

When my other half moved to Minneapolis, he traveled a lot for his work. He was always on a Northwest flight. After a short year or two, he moved up to the upper echelons of Northwest travelers. He earned the coveted Gold Elite flight status. His work also paid for a membership in the Northwest World Club. When we would travel together, we would "hang out" in the World Club Lounge. We'd get free food and free drinks (note t0 self: an open bar does not mean it is your last night on earth). Then, we'd walk to the gate.

Here's where one of the snags comes in. My other half was frequently bumped up to first class. His companion was often not. We would often have to fly separately.

This experience left me a little jealous. However, I was soon traveling a lot for my own work. It was not quite to the level that he was traveling, but it was something. I even got myself to a Silver Elite level on year. Then, I was getting bumped up a little more frequently to first class. Let me tell you, it's hard going back to coach after you've experienced food and attentive flight crew in first class! Some of you know what I'm talking about.

However, Northwest Airlines has not been faring too well for the past couple of years. about 18 months ago, their mechanics went on strike. Right after that, Northwest filed for bankruptcy. I'd like to think that there problems were the result of these hardships, but I'm finding that it was happening long before then.

Because we both flew a lot, we racked up a lot of frequent flier miles. We still get quite a few. However, it is becoming harder and harder to use those miles. There are many restrictions, and the available dates are few and far between. We now plan to use those miles at least 6 months in advance. Frequent flier miles are a wonderful perk that keep your customers loyal, but the harder it is to use them, the more tempted I am to move to another carrier...any other carrier that will just let us fly in peace.

Moving to another airline is difficult. Again, Northwest is often our only option for travel. Other flight schedules are pretty restrictive. What's a guy to do.

So I find myself going back to Northwest, even after I feel that I've been treated poorly. What can end this dysfunctional relationship?

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Sabbath Day Ahead

One of the major drawbacks to having 4-5 jobs is that there is never a time when you are NOT working. I've noticed that I've been going for 3 weeks straight without any time to myself. It's not that I don't enjoy my work, but I'm ready for a break.

This weekend, I'm going to get one. A very brief break, but a break. Tomorrow night, I plan to go home and be quiet and still at home. I want to watch a Netflix movie and go to bed early. I'll sleep in Saturday morning (I should confess that "sleeping in" usually means 9:00 for me...not what other's might consider sleeping in).

I will do a little work on Saturday, but it's housework. We are not good at keeping our house clean. It's been very bad for quite a while now, and Saturday is the day we are going to tackle the dirt! It will be nice, because we aren't going to leave the house (at least, not until later in the day).

Does sleeping until 9:00 and cleaning the house count as a Sabbath Day? Maybe not, but I'll take what I can get.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Isn't that Interesting?

I've been away for a while. Needless to say, February is doing it's worst on me. At least I have a new post up before J does.

I really like the word "interesting". I like it in its purist meaning. It means that I have an interest in something. I want to learn more about it. I want to study and improve myself because this new idea or fact or phenomena is something that is worth the time and effort to study.

When I was in college, someone finally pointed out to me a second meaning of the word "interesting." It's the word you use when you are non-committal about an idea. Do you tell someone you don't like it? Of course not. So you use the word "interesting."

"What do you think of my Jello/Bacon Bit dessert I brought to the potluck?"

"It sure was...interesting."

Once I realized this meaning of the word "interesting", I noticed it everywhere, even in my own speech. I also began to realize that people would take my "interesting" to mean the non-committal sense of "interesting". I had a harder time convincing people I'm truly interested in the idea they are sharing.

However, lately I've been picking up on a new meaning to the word "interesting". It's a more cynical, passive-aggressive meaning. I've been around a few people who use the word "interesting" to mean "hypocritical".

"Isn't it interesting that they don't show up, but then are mad that they don't know what's going on."

"I find it interesting that we would be willing to pass this policy"
"Interesting" has almost been said with a sneer. It's very sad for me, because I still really appreciate the original meaning of "interesting". However, now the word has become a way for us to push our own agenda and pain on others.

Goodbye, "Interesting". I'll miss you