Barbara's Random Thoughts

Friday, May 28, 2004


Remember playing MASH? Well, now you can play it online. Ahh, the memories.

Come on, you know you want to know what the future will be like: where you'll live, who you'll marry and how many kids you'll have, what you'll do for a living, and what color and type of car you'll drive. MASH holds all the answers!!

On our plane trip to Italy in '96, Melinda and I couldn't sleep, so we decided to play MASH. I believe that the paper with our MASH predictions still lives on in Mel's journal. And I think it predicted me marrying the guy I had a crush on at the time. Yeah, like that would have been a good idea.
| posted by Barbara | 2:16 AM |

Thursday, May 27, 2004


While I'm on the subject of television, and because I am sad that Alias is on hiatus until January 2005 (How could you do that to me, ABC????), here is another quiz.

You are Marcus Dixon
You are Marcus Dixon

Which Member of the Alias SpyGang are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

I like Dixon. I just wish he'd actually had a few lines this season!
| posted by Barbara | 11:54 PM |


Today's review from Powell's Books is particularly good. It's about a book by Davy Rothbart called Found: The Best Lost, Tossed, and Forgotten Items from Around the World. This sounds like something I'd love to page through in the bookstore, but probably wouldn't buy:

Within the span of a few pages, one can find a burnt tooth brush found in the ruins of Waco, a ransom note from a grade-schooler holding another child's binder hostage for $3.50, and a poster directed towards building residents, asking them to lock the front door in order to "prevent unauthorized people from entering the building and defecating in the washing machine."

The review draws a parallel (as well as many contrasts) between reality TV and the glimpses of reality this book offers:

But, this record of daily life is undoubtedly more "real" than most reality programming. No one in its pages is forced into staged situations, no one is over produced, highly edited, publicly humiliated, pumped with silicone or forced to drink offal and intestine milkshakes. Instead, they are captured quietly in time, the waste of their lives reexamined, recontextualized, and earnestly appreciated.

I've been thinking a lot about reality TV lately. The reality TV addiction started for me a couple of summers ago when Suzanne got me hooked on American Idol. Then came Joe Millionaire. And Average Joe. I watched the last half of The Apprentice recently, and also got sucked into watching the last two seasons of The Bachelor. Man, I need a life. But this stuff can be so addictive!

The contest type shows aren't really that bad. American Idol, The Apprentice--people pretty much know what they're getting into, and they're the ones that are putting themselves out there to be embarrassed or showcased on national television. But the more I think about the dating shows, the whole concept becomes more and more unsettling to me. On shows like Joe Millionaire, Average Joe, and The Bachelor, real people's emotions are manipulated and edited down just to provide us with "entertainment." These are real people, and their bickering, embarrassment, and heartbreak are aired for all to see. Yeah, sure, they sign up for the shows of their own free will. But it's sad to me that television is thriving from manipulating people's lives--even if it is only for a few months.

So, yeah. These are the thoughts that come from my watching "After the Final Rose" last night, and I guess the above review just hit me in such a way as to bring this rant to the surface. I gotta stop watching reality TV!
| posted by Barbara | 9:22 PM |

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Literary Pet Names

Yesterday at lunch, some co-workers were filling out a crossword. One of the clues had something to do with a play by Tennessee Williams that had the word "iguana" in the title. None of us could think of the correct title, so we proceeded to offer suggestions like "Iguana on a Hot Tin Roof" and "An Iguana Named Desire."

Laryssa then commented that if she ever gets an iguana, she'll name it "Desire." That goes right up there with my wish to someday name a dog "Tim Johnson."

While I'm on the subject of iguanas, I'd also like to mention that "iguana" is a fun word to say. Try it. You'll like it.
| posted by Barbara | 10:56 PM |

Because it's time for another random quiz.

What Color is Your Brain?

brought to you by Quizilla

At work or in school: I like set routines and organized ways of doing things. Rules and directions are a great help to me. I prefer to stay on one topic at a time. I need to know what is expected of me, and I always want to know if I am on the right track. I like subjects that are useful and traditional, such as business, accounting, history and government.
With friends: I prefer people who are careful with their money and who make plans ahead of time. I like my friends to be loyal, dependable and on time. I am serious about love and show it in many practical ways.
With family: I like stability and security and enjoy traditions and frequent celebrations. I like to spend holidays with family members, and I plan ahead for such gatherings.

Hmm. That's pretty much me, other than the supposed affinity for "subjects that are useful and traditional." I don't know if they consider literature useful and traditional. After all, according to Oscar Wilde, "All art is quite useless."
| posted by Barbara | 1:36 AM |

Saturday, May 22, 2004


Maybe I should have waited on getting my own Gmail. Check this out: Gmail Swap. Tons of people desperate for an account are advertising what they're willing to exchange for a Gmail invite. This has possibilities...
| posted by Barbara | 1:30 AM |


I have a Gmail account! Blogger had been offering them before they changed their layout, and I kept thinking, "What do I need another email address for?" Then Blogger changed their layout and quit offering me Gmail. And then I decided I wanted it. Typical.

Well, I just logged in and there was the offer again. HA! So now I have Gmail. Just days after I told everybody to start using my Biola email. Oh well. Email me!
| posted by Barbara | 12:40 AM |

I'm Lazy

At our team lunch on Wednesday, my boss entertained us with his idea of walking to work some day this summer. He said he'd checked, and it would be about 22 miles, from San Francisco to Belmont. This is my boss. Last weekend, he hiked Half Dome on Saturday, and ran Bay to Breakers on Sunday.

Last weekend, I sat at home and read books. This is me, folks. I don't exercise. Like, ever. And I'm going hiking tomorrow. It's supposedly a fairly easy hike, pretty flat, only about 4 miles. I'm looking forward to the promised views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Marin headlands. I'm not looking forward to the pain I know I will be in on Sunday. But I'm still gonna go.

On another note, my good friend Veronica went hiking yesterday with her boyfriend and came home engaged.

So yeah, I'm going hiking tomorrow. Wish me luck. ;-)
| posted by Barbara | 12:20 AM |

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

'Tis the Season

For performance reviews at work, that is. And, I just got a very very positive one. Yay! Tomorrow I meet with my boss to discuss it, but I'm not worried, because I am very pleased with the written review he just handed me! This struck me as slightly ironic, though: when he walked into my cube to hand me the review, I was checking my personal email. Then I proceeded to read the part of the review where he said, "Barbara resists the urge to waste time on unnecessary projects. She knows how to set priorities and spends her time wisely." Doh! Back to work!
| posted by Barbara | 6:28 PM |

Tuesday, May 18, 2004


Warning: Irreverence ahead.

Yesterday at church, not in the main service, but in our young adult group, I noticed a VERY BAD TYPO on one of the overheads. Here is where we discover why being correct is VERY important. I was appreciating the fact that we were singing a hymn, and then this line appeared: "See Him prostate in the Garden." My eyes went very wide. I managed to quell the laughter and channel it into coughing. But away went any hope of sincere worship from me for the rest of the morning. Prostrate. Not prostate. There is a second R, and it makes a BIG difference, people.

Also yesterday, this time in the main service, we sang "Better is One Day." I really like this song. But I cannot sing it without thinking of a comment we once received in the church office at Green Hills. After complaining about the song being too fast, the person claimed that "even Jesus couldn't have sung that fast." Far be it from me to comment on how fast Jesus can sing. But yesterday at PBC, as we sang a slower version of the song, I thought to myself, "I wonder if this is a better tempo for Jesus." I honestly think that God laughs with me when I think things like this.

Along these same lines, I've been following a blog entry and its subsequent comments on the topic of "Top Five Worst Worship Songs."

Favorite comment yet: "Isn't it ironic that if God really answered me when I sang "Trading My Sorrows," we would never sing that song again? Yes, Lord. Yes, Lord. Yes, yes, Lord. Amen."


All of this started me thinking about worship songs that have been ruined for me by some association I have formed with the music or words.

Shout to the North: Melinda commented once that the rhythm of this song reminds her of a German drinking song. Now, whenever I hear the chorus: "Shout to the North and the South," I picture sweaty bearded German men sloshing their beer steins in time to the music. Thanks, Mel.

Let Everything that has Breath: When I was working in the church office at Green Hills, Jamie once told us a story about a pastor's mis-reading of Psalm 150. With a triumphant final line, the pastor shouted out, "Let everything that has breasts praise the Lord!" Call me juvenile, but I've only recently been able to get past the urge to giggle when we get to the chorus of this song.

We Want to See Jesus Lifted High: My first issue with this song was that it made me think of Alice, a blind lady at Green Hills. I'm not being cruel; she tells more blind jokes than the rest of us. But when it repeats, "We want to see, we want to see," well, I think of Alice and laugh to myself. And then, thanks to Eric's performance of Heather's VBS choreography on this song, I have a hard time keeping a straight face at "Strongholds come tumbling down and down and down and down." Unfortunately, the image of Eric shaking his butt on those lines is permanently burned into my memory. (ACH, MY EYES!!!!!!!!)

And a hymn:
He Touched Me: Ok, go ahead and tell me I have my mind in the gutter, but the title just sounds completely inappropriate. Either that, or it sounds like little kids fighting: "Mo-om!! He touched me!!"
| posted by Barbara | 12:24 AM |

Saturday, May 15, 2004

Bumper sticker

This morning on my drive to work, I saw a bumper sticker that read:

"Don't pray in my school, and I won't think in your church."

It made me defensive, a little indignant, and finally sad. I'm sad that the world at large perceives the church as something that is mindless. I'm sad that many think religion is something that requires you to turn off your mind in order to believe.

I'm a pretty logical person. I believe what I believe because I have logical reasons to believe it. My faith is not a blind faith. I believe the Bible is true because there is evidence that supports it. I believe in creation because the evidence simply does not support evolution. I could haul out my notes from J.P. Moreland's apologetics class and go on about arguments for the existence of God and the historicity of the Gospels, but I won't.

Though I believe that Christianity is true and reasonable and rational, I'm sad that the church often lives up to the perception that Christians don't think. The reactionary American Christian sub-culture fuels that perception, with Harry Potter book burnings and the like. I think that alienates many who just might be open to faith if they were offered a reasonable defense for the faith.

So, I invite the skeptic to come and think in my church. Examine the faith, and judge for yourself whether it is reasonable to believe.

1 Peter 3:15 – "sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you."
| posted by Barbara | 12:37 AM |

Friday, May 14, 2004


Something I discovered just now: when you kill a fruit fly in midair above your computer keyboard, and its dead carcass lands between the keys, don't despair. If you are careful, you can extract it using the sticky side of a post-it note.

Don't laugh. You might need that information someday.
| posted by Barbara | 7:05 PM |

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Names to curse with

One of the editorial assistants here, Anne, works with an author whose last name is Damschroder. I just can't resist using the author's last name as a curse word. Damschroder! Brings back fond memories of my days in the Biola Chamber Orchestra, when I would take my stand partner's name in vain. Dan Bennett! It also reminds me of one of the letters in the Ted L. Nancy book, where he claims to have a form of Tourette's that causes him to bark out men's names.

I love creative exclamations like these. I taught Jude "Oh, for the love of bald men" last summer. I recently heard someone use "Oh, for the love of Google" and found it also quite amusing. Anyone have others they'd like to share? C'mon, people, make me laugh and expand my vocabulary.
| posted by Barbara | 10:53 PM |


Today did not get off to a great start. When getting out of my car at work, I managed to spill juice in my lap. In a very bad place. So I spent the first couple hours of the morning with my sweater tied around my waist and my jeans uncomfortably wet.

But things are looking up. I got the phone calls I was dreading out of the way (almost) first thing, and I have only two items left on my list of things to do today. Ok, so they're big things, but it still makes me feel good.

And, as the title says, I'm feeling reclusive. I don't know if it's due to my overly social weekend or what, but I so want to just hide from the world today. Instead, I'm going to be social tonight. Drinks & dinner to celebrate a friend's one year anniversary of her return from the Peace Corps. Tonight will be fun, but tomorrow night I'm gonna determinedly park myself on my couch with some books and maybe my DVD of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
| posted by Barbara | 7:39 PM |

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

New look

Even though I'm really not fond of Blogger's new commenting feature (Why the heck must you log in to leave comments?), I'm going with this new template. For now, anyway. I finally got things kind of how I want them. If only I could figure out how to still use HaloScan with this template instead of the Blogger comments. Because of the new commenting feature, all previous comments are now sadly gone. They still exist at HaloScan, I just can't get them to appear here. Bleah. Not that there were that many comments anyway, but still. They made me feel at least mildly popular.

But look at the template! It's new and shiny!
| posted by Barbara | 11:26 PM |

Monday, May 10, 2004


Ok, so with the launch of a new look to Blogger, I started looking around a bit. I found they've got a ton of new, cool templates up. But I can't get the one I like to display all my stuff like I want. I can't get the comments up and working, and I can't get the currently reading where I want it. Grr. I WILL figure this out, dangit. Tomorrow, perhaps, when I can stay late at work.
| posted by Barbara | 11:33 PM |


This weekend was the busiest one I've had since I was in SoCal for Easter. Check this out:

Thursday: Friends finale party with my small group
Friday: coerced into going to a party by friend from small group
Saturday: lunch & movie & ice cream with work friends; birthday dinner for Kelly from small group
Sunday: fulfilled my introvert need of a low-key afternoon alone--reading, doing laundry, and running errands. Oh, and calling my mom to say Happy Mother's Day. =)

I feel
| posted by Barbara | 8:39 PM |


Check out this article.

A music student at the University of Texas at Austin has been charged with killing a professor. With a meat cleaver.

I heard about this from Anne this morning. One of her current reviewers is a music prof at UTA, and he emailed to let her know he wouldn't be able to get his review in on time. Because his colleague had been murdered. Anne consulted me on how to respond to his email. Because, really, what do you say? "Of course I will extend your review deadline, and I'm sorry to hear that your disabled colleague was killed with a meat cleaver by a student."
| posted by Barbara | 6:38 PM |

Friday, May 07, 2004

If you were a theologian...

Which theologian would you be?

"God will not suffer man to have the knowledge of things to come; for if he had prescience
of his prosperity he would be careless; and understanding of his adversity he would be senseless."

You are Augustine!

You love to study tough issues and don't mind it if you lose sleep over them.
Everyone loves you and wants to talk to you and hear your views, you even get things like "nice debating
with you." Yep, you are super smart, even if you are still trying to figure it all out. You're also
very honest, something people admire, even when you do stupid things.

What theologian are you?

A creation of Henderson

| posted by Barbara | 11:46 PM |

Thursday, May 06, 2004


So Kim sent me this email yesterday about Friendster. Some friends at work had been talking about it recently, and so I decided to check it out. The concept is really cool--basically you register yourself and link yourself to all your friends and then you can meet their friends, and their friends' friends...and so on. Cool people linking to cool people. So now my latest time-waster at work is to log on and see if I can find people I know on Friendster. According to Friendster, I only have 3 friends. Sad. Though I do have two friends pending. And I must say, it was fun to get emails saying "Cheryl is now your friend!" and "Anne is now your friend!" So, anybody else out there on Friendster, let me know!
| posted by Barbara | 1:28 AM |

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Living with a Writer

Came across this article yesterday--it's a preview of the book LIVING WITH A WRITER. In this book, the families of authors (including William Golding's daughter and John Updike's son) share what it's like to--well--live with a writer. Reading this reminded me of a passage I love from Calvin Trillin's Family Man:

"I have a simple rule of thumb that I offer to my fellow scribblers. I call it the Dostoyevsky test: If you have reason to believe that you're another Dostoyevsky, there is no reason to be concerned about the effect what you write might have on the life of some member of your family. Your art is considerably more important than any such consideration. Readers a century or two from now should not be deprived of the prose you fashion out of, say, the circumstances leading to your conclusion that your oldest son simply didn't have the guts to stick to junior-varsity football and thus set a pattern for a life of drifting. You have the right--the responsibility, really, to future generations of readers--to mention your mother's private confession to you, in a moment of stress, that she never truly loved your father, even if putting that conversation in print causes some awkwardness in their life at the retirement village. If you have reason to believe that you're another Dostoyevsky, you can say anything you need to say. If you don't have reason to believe that you're another Dostoyevsky, you can't."
| posted by Barbara | 9:00 PM |

Monday, May 03, 2004

Quote of the day

"It really gets me when the critics say I haven't done enough for the economy. Look what I've done for the book publishing industry."

--President George W. Bush at the White House Correspondents' Association dinner
| posted by Barbara | 7:34 PM |