Friday, February 09, 2007

lessons from charm school

  1. Do not show up for an interview red-eyed and hung over. Do not attempt to cure the hangover with the hair of the dog immediately before the interview.

Thursday, February 08, 2007


This girl at work, she studied religion in school, when somebody asked her if she was religious at all, she said, "No, too much violence for me." But: her second major was politics. She is avidly political and has Marxist sympathies, not to mention her probable support of "abortion rights".

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

ran across one of my favorite "convert" articles

On this subject, one of the main reasons why some converts do not stop being converts and so do not become Orthodox is because they do not have a job. The need to earn your daily crust, to be with other people, is an excellent way for people to start living (as opposed to just thinking about) their Faith. This can avoid what is called the temptations from the left and the right. Temptations from the left are laxism, weakness, compromise, indifference. Temptations from the right are censorious judgement of others, the stuck-up zeal of the Pharisee, 'zeal not according to knowledge'. These temptations are equally dangerous and equally to be combatted. Both waste an enormous amount of time and energy on sideshows like the discussion of irrelevant issues like ecumenism, rather than praying. Being in society is the way in which we can get to know ourselves, see our failings and avoid being sidetracked into theoretical concerns.
Includes other gems such as:
Finally, as I have already said, there is nothing so boring as sin. I am always surprised when people come to confession and expect me to remember their last confession. I always forget boring things. One of the best confessors I ever met was almost totally deaf. After I had said my piece, most of which he had not heard, he gave me some of the best advice I have ever received.
Really worth the price of admission. And later, my own favorite bit of advice:
It is inevitable that you will not get on with everyone in your parish all the time. Such is human nature. But it is not a reason for walking out, slamming the door, not remaining Orthodox. Perhaps you are spending too much time at church outside the services? Yes, we do have coffee and tea after the service, but you are not obliged to stay. Some of the best Orthodox do not! Perhaps your relations with the other parishioners are too close? Are these people you would be with in any other situation? If you have no interest at all in common, other than having a common faith, why spend so much time with them? Spending too much time with people with whom you have little in common in terms of character and tastes is a recipe for friction. After all, you're not married to them.
The sobriety of this article truly is what got me through some rather boring or uncomfortable patches, though some would argue all it did was make me horribly cynical and antisocial. Whatevs.

Monday, February 05, 2007

a modest baseball proposal

Re-raise the mounds to the 1968 levels. I readily admit that the last two decades have produced some of the finest pitchers in history. While luminaries such as Greg Maddux, Roger Clemens, and Pedro Martinez proved that it is still possible to post multiple years with ERAs below 2.00 despite the boom in modern offensive production, the league average is well over 4.00. When Pedro Martinez posted a 1.74 ERA in 2000, the second-best was Clemens' 3.70. In the interests of returning baseball to a proper equilibrium, the obvious solution is to raise the mound back up to 18 inches to offset the improvements in modern offensive technique. Sure, kids like to see dingers, but the refined and educated prefer 1-0 pitchers' duels. They are even better when spun from the fingers of a wizard like Mr Maddux, but I'm willing to accept some diminution of actual pitching quality in those duels in order to see more of them simply because there usually isn't that much to appreciate in a typical 8-5 game. Discuss?