Thursday, January 31, 2008

Getting Better

After a week of being out of work, BJ's fever finally broke today. Hopefully, he'll be back at school tomorrow. Today, he was exhausted. I think that his body is tired from having a non-stop fever for three and a half days.

I walked into the living room today to find BJ and Tony resting together. Tony may be evil, but he is a good buddy to cuddle up with for a nap. And BJ has been caught in entirely too many pictures napping with Tony to try and deny that he doesn't have a soft spot somewhere deep, deep within for the little fur ball.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

That funny feeling in the pit of my stomach, I think it's hope

Because of the divisive nature of politics, I have tried to keep political content off of my blog. I would never want to offend my friends and family who read my blog, and I know that I often have differing political views from those who are closest to me. However, in the past year, there has been an ever-growing sense of inspiration that has now reached an intensity I have never felt in the area of politics. For the first time in my life, I feel a legitimate surging of hope, and it is all the result of one man: Barack Obama. Since this blog has always been a candid journal of my life, it seems dishonest to not do a post on the issue that I am spending a ridiculous amount of my day thinking about, researching, and praying over.

I have read tons of articles over Obama and listened to a large number of his speeches online. After a good bit of consideration, I feel that there are two speeches that give the best overview of who Barack Obama is as a politician and, more importantly, as a person. I do not want anyone to feel like I am saying that Obama is our only hope or that a person who does not vote for him is somehow inherently wrong. All I am wanting to do is offer sources to anyone who reads my blog and wants to know about Obama and why he is such an inspiration to me.

The first speech is the one he gave last night at his victory rally in South Carolina. It is appropriately titled Yes We Can, and I feel it shows his humility, depth, and overall character. The second speech, Politics of the Conscience, is from July of 2007 when Obama spoke to a group of evangelicals. Many people are saying that this is the most important political speech about religion given in the past forty years. I realize that e-mails have been going around saying that Obama is a Muslim. I do not believe this rumor, and the sincerity and intelligence of this speech on his Christian faith and it's role in his life is the basis for my belief. I have never been able to articulate my opinions on faith and politics and how the two should interact. Thankfully, in this speech, Obama does it for me. He has put into words the interconnectedness of faith and politics, and he has acknowledged that Christian morals guide his every step, even in the world of politics.

If you are interested in background information on Obama, "The Path to Power", an article from Men's Vogue, is a really great examination of what has brought him to this election. Also, I would recommend his website for a breakdown of his views on specific issues.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Grad school begins

I have just completed my first two weeks of graduate school. So far, I've got mixed reviews over the whole thing. What is good is that I've made some friends who are interesting and fun to talk to. Also, it is nice to have something to do that gives me a sense of movement in my life towards my broader goals. I would say that, all in all, I am more happy now than I was last semester.

But, like I said, my reviews are mixed. Since I've always considered myself a liberal, I didn't think I would be bothered by state schools and the beliefs of the faculty. However, I have had a difficult time with the way religion is dealt with in the classes. It is assumed that all religions are myths in the same way that unicorns are mythical creatures, and it is assumed that we are all in agreement on this issue. What is difficult about this for me is that all things tend to lose their meaning for me outside of the Christian narrative. This shouldn't be shocking. Every other student has a lens they're looking through. Some are Marxist, others feminist, some deconstructionalist. These are acceptable lenses. Mine is not. And what is frustrating is that no one is willing to admit that Marxism, feminism, and deconstructionalism are their religion. The good news is that after years of my faith not being challenged at ACU, I had forgotten that I still care. I do.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Weak Denim

My dad is notorious for making up lame excuses for a) over-eating and b) gaining weight. When we point out that he is eating more than should be humanly possible, his general excuse is that he "was feeling weak" and needed the boost of energy 1000 calories worth of Little Debbies so generously gives. And as for the weight gain, he usually uses the classic "My pants must be shrinking."

However, this week he got creative. While at work, Dad does a lot of very physical work. This requires tons of walking, climbing ladders, bending over, etc. While bending over in some task the other day, Dad heard the noise we all dread, the sound of pants splitting. Apparently, post-holiday season has been a bit of a squeeze. But I'll have to give Dad credit because he didn't revert to the old shrinking excuse. No, this time it was "weak denim" that caused the crisis. Wranglers just don't make them like they used to.

Just out of curiosity, does anybody have some good excuses they've used to blow off a couple (or ten) extra pounds?

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Gus reaches celebrity status

I just got back from a walk in the park where we had yet another first with Gus. Someone stopped us to ask about Gus's breed (which is not at all unusual) and then went on and on about how "cute", which means funny, he looks. Also, not unusual. What was the "first" was that this person actually wanted to take a picture of Gus with their dog, an extremely tiny dotson puppy. So a few moments later Gus was immortalized for this family's photo album. If I am not mistaken, the camera snapped along about the time Gus was sniffing the little guy's crotch. Needless to say, it was a canine Kodak moment.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A Menard Moment

Here's a story from Menard that I was thinking about earlier. It happened a couple of weeks ago while I was staying down there, but it still makes me laugh.

Mom, Dad, and I were eating lunch and talking about some workshop video my brother had to watch about learning to love your job no matter what it is. Dad was basically laughing at how stupid the whole concept is (obviously, I inherited my optimism from him). My mom started getting angry at him for being negative, because Mom really is the eternal optimist. In her fury, she lost all control of the words sputtering out of her mouth, and she said to my father in an extremely frustrated tone, "Oh, stop being such a grumbly-dub-dub." My dad got this bewildered look on his face and said, "A what?" By the time Mom realized she had spoken complete gibberish, it was too late: she had just added yet another word to the Pierce vocabulary. So if you are ever coming through Menard, keep a positive attitude because according to the book of Loveticus, "Thou shalt not be a grumbly-dub-dub."

By the way, I know what you're thinking. Does this new word have anything to do with three men in a tub? We have yet to establish a solid connection there, but we're still investigating.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

The Holidays

We returned yesterday from a wonderful holiday in Menard. I saw old friends, spent time with family, and got ridiculous amounts of presents. Also, I took over the world twice. It was actually my first time to play Risk.

Josh and Allison Belisle came to Frisco for New Years, and we played all sorts of games, ate lots of food, and, of course, laughed. All and all, I give a thumbs up to the holiday season.

When the clock struck twelve last night, my brother called from Menard. I was expecting to hear "Happy New Year", but in class Bro fashion, he yelled, "We survived". Yeah, 2007 was a rough year, but here's to 2008. May it be a blessed year for all my friends and family.