Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Repent? For what?

It's Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras, Martes Gras, the Bacchanale, call it what you will, and I'm troubled as always. It's the last blast, the last day of fun and revelry before a long 40 days of Lent and repentance. There's my problem.

Repent? For what?

"Repent, for the end is near"? Doubt it. While the signs of the End Times are all around, they always have been. Global conflict, weather upheaval, strife and disease? Try the year 1000 with the Crusades, the early 1800s with Napoleon, 1918 with the Spanish Flu, any of a number of places, but don't tell me the world is about to end this very second.

Repent for my sins? What is so special that it needs repentance so badly? If I take the Catholic view, then all but the most heinous of sins are washed away by attending services. I haven't done any of the bad ones requiring special confession. If I go Protestant, it's even easier. Be truly sorry for your sins, approach God humbly, and depart in peace. No need to take six weeks worrying yourself to death.

Original sin, you say? I've had professors claim that one. Yet, it's wrong. Matthew 25:17, the tearing of the Temple Shroud upon Christ's death. A symbol, great and mighty, of the supreme sacrifice, freeing us of the sins of our forebears. I don't need to repent like that- someone already helped me out, 1950 years before I was born.

Lent is good for contemplation and focus, and that is how I choose to spend it. Focusing on the important things, and seeking the deeper meaning, these are my goals.

No, Father, I need not repent this day. I already have.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Five thousand...

Today, I broke the five thousand post barrier on Snopes. No big deal, really, until you realize what it represents.

Five thousand posts. That's a book, depending how long each post is. That's a novel of two years of my life, encapsulated in snips and snatches, bits and pieces of conversations. Bits of me are woven into vibes sent for jobs and ailing families, cheers for victories and sorrows for losses, and sparks wind up in the fires of debate and challenge.

Five thousand.

Eight hundred and six days, six and a quarter posts per day, bits of life and bits of my experience. It's interesting, though, to read the early ones. This time last year, for example, I was fighting a rough patch in my life. Now, though, I'm over it. I'm free.

Five thousand. Think what you will of two years' postings, talking to the same people, but I'll say this. That's two years correspondence with people I never would have met, friends I never would have made, glory I never would have found.

That was worth the time. :-)

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Aliens? Could they? How could they not?

I've been thinking about abductions. Not child abductions, obviously, but alien ones. The classic abduction from bed, probing and prodding, then a return, only to be thought crazy.

Do aliens exist? I'd say they have to. No way around it.

How? Sheer probability, folks. Thinking logically, what are the odds that life would evolve on Earth, but nowhere else in the cosmos? What are the odds that this tiny blue dot, orbiting an unimportant star in a backwater galaxy, is all there is? It seems awfully Terran-centric, to coin a phrase.

Would they come to Earth? Why not? The great conquerors of Europe couldn't restrain themselves from coming West, across the sea. The human race couldn't stop itself from reaching for the skies, so why would an alien society be any different?

Of course, I know what you're thinking. Roswell. 1947, New Mexico, a craft crashes in the desert, and "bodies" are seen to be removed. Supposedly, those were aliens, and the government has been covering it up for 58 years.

Not a chance. The government couldn't keep Clinton receiving oral a secret, they couldn't hide Kennedy's bad back, or Grover Cleveland's throat cancer, so how would they hide this?

They're out there, folks. Somewhere. When they come here, you'll know it. I'm certain of that.

Monday, February 20, 2006

The Olympiad, and watching people have fun.

The last few days, I've caught snips of the Olympics- women's gold-medal hockey here, curling qualifier there, long-jump skiing over there- and I noticed one interesting thing about it.

People are having ablast. American sports can be so serious, so life-and-death, that to see someone truly just thrilled to compete is incredible. It feels so good. :-)

Citius, Altius, Fortius, ladies and gentlemen. Faster, Higher, Stronger. May it always be.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

A letter to myself, about a year ago...

Every so often, I like writing letters to myself, to me years ago. What that I know now would I like to have known back then?


Dear Me, circa New Year's 2005,

Casey, these next three months or so are going to be rough like you can scarcely imagine. Things are going to seem dark and cold, and you'll be close to throwing in the towel.


One night, a light is going to start shining in your life. You'll find the love of your life in that darkness, and she will lead you to the light. The two of you will dance in the dark, and with a twirl, you will come to the light again.

Good luck, bud. Keep strong, and keep an eye open. She's out there, and you have met her already. :-)


Now, gently shifting gears...

Dear Bainwen,

It's Valentine's Day. Now, here, I just thought I'd make it clear. I love you with all my heart and soul. Tomorrow, dinner's on the house. :-)


Thursday, February 09, 2006

But there's FLOAM!!!

A few weeks ago, Bainwen and I were watching TV late one night, and a commercial for Floam came on. We were both slightly delirious from sleep deprivation, so the commerical became quite hilarious.

Floam! Magical stuff!

What happens if badgers get their paws on Floam? Would there be a mecha-badger result that would eat Cleveland?

Floam! Wondrous stuff!

Is Floam needed to keep the Soviets in check? I mean, I know that the Russkies aren't pointing nukes at us, but the concept of Floam delivered by the nearest ICBM scares me more than 110 megatons of Pu-239.

Floam, folks. For your family's safety, keep away from badgers.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

And now for something completely different...

My dad played for the Wheeling Ironmen from 63-64, before the founding of the CFL. That's a Pittsburgh farm team, their equivalent of Triple-A.

Hence, on Super Bowl Sunday, I can do nothing else but pay homage to the Steel Curtain. Go Steelers!

Memory castles...

In this post, I mentioned how dragging the bad memories and shames to the forefront could help coping. Yet, since I've mentioned dragging one up, what is done with it? It can't be let sit at the front of your mind, can it?


The memory castle is your friend.

You see, every memory you have, every triumph and every terror, is a room in your memory castle. The rooms group together into wings and floors- HS, childhood, work, family and the like- and each room contains a single memory.

You've looked at this memory, now take it in your arms, and carry it back to your memory castle. Find the room it belongs in- there's something in the room linked to it. Cruel people in PE classes, those memories are linked to dodgeballs for me. My eventual triumph through weightlifting is a golden barbell. There is something linked to that memory in a room.

Place that memory back where it belongs, but this time, you'll do something a bit stronger than normal. In your mind's eye, turn around, walk out the door, that ancient and heavy oak slab, and lock it. Let the warm brass lock click home, locking that memory away.

You can still access it. You have the key. But, it can no longer access you. Take a few minutes and wander through the happy rooms in your castle, a child being born, your doggies, your first true love, and when you are ready to leave, do this. As you walk down the steps back to conscious thought, remember that lock. Remember the sound of the bolt slamming home, and remember how it is now locked away.

Just thought I'd finish what I started, folks. Don't mind me. :-)