Monday, May 30, 2011

Photos from the Beach

A couple of weeks ago, I spent a marvelous weekend with 129 of my friends at a women's retreat on the Sound. Here are a few mementos of that experience.

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A Guilty Pleasure?

I seldom stick my neck out to offer critical comments or reviews, but having watched a Deadliest Catch marathon last night I've got something in my craw. Following is a note I sent to a friend to dispute her assessments of some of the recent developments on the show. I write this, knowing that I have no basis from which to judge these men... but because I enjoy the show so much, I'll admit to being a pretty rabid fan. Disclaimer done.

Dear J:

Now that I'm up to date on the Catch, I have to argue with you about the Cornelia Marie captain. I don't think Derrick is a bad guy at all. He was put into a really tough situation, replacing not only an owner/captain but the father of two crewmen. And then there was "little Jake's" abrupt departure and refusal to take a drug test. Denial, denial, denial. There's a saying -- How do you know an addict is lying? His lips are moving. The Cornelia Marie had a terrible season of fishing, but so did a couple of other boats! The CM crew couldn't have known how badly some of the others were doing, but those crab counts at the bottom of the list were abysmal. On the other hand, he came right out and said to Josh and Jake that their dad had done them a disservice by not teaching them more before he died. Ooooo... low blow! Sure, Phil could have taught them more, let them run the boat, but he was busy earning a living, and he was teaching them. No one expected him to pass away so suddenly. The whole owner-but-crewman thing makes everything so complicated. In one way, it seems like it might be better for Josh & Jake to move to other boats to get fully trained, and then return to their boat as co-captains. But financially, that isn't workable. If you own a boat, you need to be there to oversee your investment.

Another point of interest for me was watching Wizard captain Keith "interacting" with his crew. I know, you're not crazy about Keith, but I like him. What got me was, after he had chewed them out and then had a long silent treatment from his brother Monty, Monty comes up and totally makes Keith lose it with laughter. ("Can we go in and get a candy bar?" I'm not sure what the joke was, but Keith was laughing so hard he couldn't finish a sentence.) Although they can fight like the best of them (i.e., Sig and Edgar), Keith and Monty have a really solid, loving relationship. That warms my heart!

So, there you go. Let 'er rip and tell me what you think!

Oh, and have a nice day... :-p

Friday, May 20, 2011

What's Back There?

I'm always curious about how things work behind the scenes. The first few years doing football stats for a 4A varsity team, I spent every pregame time agog at the field-level view of preparations. The few stage productions I've been involved in were fascinating literal behind-the-scenes experiences. I love singing in the church choir and looking out at the congregation, watching their responses to the service. And, like everyone, I sometimes wonder what "they" think of me or "us". Don't you?

This morning, I picked up The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner's Semester at America's Holiest University, by Kevin Roose. This young journalism student from a famed secular university wonders what like is like at, of all places, Jerry Falwell's Liberty University. What better way to learn about it than to go under cover and enroll as a student? I'm only a few chapters in, but it's a compelling read and I have to find out what happens. For once, I'm not going to skim and skip ahead in the story.

Because Kevin is not an evangelical Christian, will he be able to pull of an imitation of one? Can he keep his language acceptably clean, and will he be able to adopt the right amount of Christian-sounding jargon to fit in with the other students? Do I listen to what other people say, or am I too wrapped up in judging how they say it?

Are the "real" Christian students really, uh, real? Are they genuine folks, or are they cardboard cut-out facades with no depth of character? How long will it take Kevin to spot a fake? How do people view me -- shallow and conniving, or solid to the core?

If someone discovers Kevin's identity as an impostor, what will their reaction be? Will they ostracize him, out him, or will they pity him? How do I judge people, and how does that change how I act toward them?

One of my strengths as a codependent is a drive to be likable. I shrink away from anything that someone could find distasteful in me. Ugh. Let me rephrase that. My greatest weakness is that drive to be likable! It's tricky to balance those things that should be staunch convictions while also needing to be accepting and understanding. Most people do what they do, not to be bad but because they feel a good reason to do it. Some of those actions are bad, a few horrific, but many just happen without a lot of rationalization. I'm out of my depth in theological terms here, but I hold that mankind is predisposed to be selfish, and therefore makes selfish (and sinful) choices. It should go without saying that I'm in that boat with everyone else. It would be silly for me to deny this.

Am I real? I hope so. At least, I'm trying to be.

Thanks for listening.