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Atlas Shrugged Post 3 [24 Jul 2008|06:45pm]
Hank Rearden: "'Why would you want it, if it's not the truth?' he asked. 'What for?'" 

Lillian Rearden: "'Now you see, that's the cruelty of conscientious people. You wouldn't understand it---would you?---if I answered that real devotion consists of being willing to lie, cheat and fake in order to make another person happy---to create for him the reality he really wants, if he doesn't like the one that exists.'"

"'No,' he said slowly. 'I wouldn't understand it.'"

"'It's really very simple. If you tell a beautiful woman that she is beautiful, what have you given her? It's no more than a fact and it has cost you nothing. But if you tell an ugly woman that she is beautiful, you offer her the great homage of corrupting the concept of beauty. To love a woman for her virtues is meaningless. She's earned it, it's a payment, not a gift. But to love her for her vices is a real gift, unearned and undeserved. To love her for her vices is to defile all virtue for her sake---and that is a real tribute of love, because you sacrifice your conscience, your reason, your integrity and your invaluable self-esteem.'"

"'What's love, darling, if it's not self-sacrifice?' she went on lightly, in the tone of a drawing-room discussion. 'What's self-sacrifice, unless one sacrifices that which is one's most precious and most important? But I don't expect you to understand it. Not a stainless-steel Puritan like you. That's the immense selfishness of the Puritan. You'd let the whole world perish rather than soil that immaculate self of yours with a single spot of which you'd have to be ashamed.'"
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Atlas Shrugged Post 2 [20 Jul 2008|08:47pm]
"I am perfectly innocent, since I lost my money, since I lost all of my own money for a good cause. My motives were pure. I wanted nothing for myself. I've never sought anything for myself. Miss Taggart, I can proudly say that in all of my life I have never made a profit!"

Her voice was quiet, steady and solemn:

"Mr. Lawson, I think I should let you know that of all the statements a man can make, that
is the one I consider most despicable."

I would absolutely love a discussion about this one. I'm leaving it up for a few days.
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Atlas Shrugged Post 1 [19 Jul 2008|02:13pm]

I have decided to put livejournal into good use. I am entrenched in and in love with "Atlas Shrugged" though I am merely 300 pages in with over 800 remaining. I have defiled this library book with stars marking importance, whole paragraphs underlined, and my own personal comments in the sidelines.

So I'm going to put my excitement into good use an post a quote hopefully every day and it would be awesome for people to post their opinions, comments, questions, interests, etc.

Here's the first:

"So you think that money is the root of all evil? Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can't exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?"


"The evil of the world is made possible by nothing but the sanction you give it."

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[13 Jul 2008|04:37pm]

Wesley: This is me taking control, from Sloan, from the fraternity, from Janis, billing reports, ergonomic keyboards, from cheating girlfriends and sack of shit best friends. This is me taking back control of my life. 

 What the fuck have you done lately? 

Only boring people get bored. I am determined to not be a boring person. If that means being ridiculous and embarassing myself then so what? I'm sick of blaming a hometown for my lack of an exciting life. There is ALWAYS something to do. Maybe you have to put some effort in, maybe you have to put yourself out there.

"Life is full of choices, if you have the guts to go for it. That's why I get immediately bored with anyone's complaining about how boring their lif is, or how bad their town is. Fucking leave and go somewhere else. Or don't."

"There's no excuse to be bored. Sad, yes. Angry, yes. Depressed, yes. Crazy, yes. But there's no excuse for boredom, ever."

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[12 Jul 2008|11:29am]

I love Jesus.

One of the most complex statements today.

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Horton Hears a Who [25 Jun 2008|12:09pm]

I'm watching an episode of Oprah where Jim Carey is the guest talking about Horton Hears a Who. And Oprah repeats the line from the movie and from the Dr. Seuss book:

"A person's a person no matter how small."

This made me cry.
Am I PMS-ing?

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[20 Jun 2008|10:58pm]

It's like if a family member goes missing for a long time and the search parties have pretty much given up and you know logically that you will never see them again but there's a vivid part of you that is waiting for them to knock on the front door and come into your life again.

It's acceptance and it's anticipation.

And it's the anticipatin that sucks you in.

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[27 May 2008|09:58pm]
This summer sucks so badly I want to cry.

I wish I didn't have this severe phobia of driving.
I wish my family could afford for me to go to just a 4 day concert.
I wish my best friend wasn't going to another college next year.
I wish summer was how it should be: happy, blissful, busy, exciting, something worth waking up to.

or maybe I just need more zoloft.
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[26 Jan 2008|11:56am]

So I have the DSM-IV (text revision), which is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition.

When I first watched Girl Interrupted, I researched Borderline Personality Disorder but didn't really understand it. The psychology world will admit to this being a very hard disorder to define. But reading this seemingly distinct new revision of BPD, I was shocked to find how much I was underlining...how much it applied to me.
This is what it said: and I underlined what I actually underlined in the book.

The essential feature of Borderline Personality Disorder is a pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image, and affects, and marked impulsivity that begins by early adulthood and is present in a variety of contexts.
      Individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder make frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment (Criterion 1). The perception of impending seperation or rejection, or the loss of external structure, can lead to profound changes in self-image, affect, cognition, and behavoir. These individuals are are very sensitive to environmental circumstances. They experience abandonment fears and inappropriate anger even when faced with a realistic time-limited seperation or when there are unavoidable changes in plans (e.g., sudden despair in reaction to a clinician's announcing the end of the hour; panic or fury when someone important to them is just a few minutes late or must cancel and appointment). They may believe that this "abandonment" implies they are "bad". These abandonment fears are related to an intolerance of being alone and a need to have other people with them. Their frantic efforts to avoid abandonment may include impulsive actions such as self-mutilating or suicidal behavoirs, which are described separately in Criterion 5. 
     Individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder have a pattern of unstable and intense relationships (Criterion 2). They may idealize potential caregivers or lovers the first or second meeting, demand to spend a lot of time together, and share the most intimate details early in a relationship. However, they may switch quickly from idealizing other people to devaluing them, feeling that the other person does not care enough, does not give enough, is not "there" enough. These individuals can empathize with and nurture other people, but only with the expectation that the other person will "be there" in return to meet their own needs on demand. These individuals are prone to sudden and dramatic shifts in their view of others, who may alternately be seen as beneficent supports or as cruelly punitive. Such shifts often reflect disillusionment with a caregiver whose nurturing qualities had been idealized or whose rejection or abandonment is expected.
     There may be an identity disturbance characterized by markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self (Criterion 3). There are sudden and dramatic shifts in self-image, characterized by shifting goals, values, and vocational aspirations. There may be sudden changed in opinions and plans about career, sexual identity, values, and types of friends. These individuals may suddenly change from the role of a needy supplicant for help to a righteous avenger of past mistreatment. Although they usually have a self-image that is based on being bad or evil, individuals with this disorder may at times have feelings that they do not exist at all. Such experiences usually occur in situations in which the individual feels a lack of a meaningful relationship, nurturing, and support. These individuals may show worse performance in unstructured work or school situations.
     Individuals with this disorder display impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (Criterion 4.) They may gamble, spend money irresponsibly, binge eat, abuse substances, engage in unsafe sex, or drive recklessly. Individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder display recurrent suicidal behavoir, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilative acts (e.g., cutting or burning) and suicide threats and attempts are very common. Recurrent suicidality is often the reason that these individuals present for help. These self-destructive acts are usually precipitated by threats of separation or rejection or by expectations that they assume increased responsibilty. Self-mutilation may occur during dissociative experiences and often brings relief by reaffirming the ability to feel or by expiating the individual's sense of being evil.
     Individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder may display affective instability that is due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days) (Criterion 6). The basic dysphoric mood of those with BPD is often disrupted by periods of anger, panic, or despair and is rarely relieved by periods of well-being or satisfaction.These episodes may reflect the individual's extreme reactivity to interpersonal stresses. Individuals with BPD may be troubled by chronic feelings of emptiness (Criterion 7). Easily bored, they may constantly seek something to do. Individuals with BPD frequently express inappropriate, intense anger or have difficulty controlling their anger (Criterion 8). They may display extreme sarcasm, enduring bitterness, or verbal outbursts. The anger if often elicited when a caregiver or lover is seen as neglectful, withholding, uncaring or abandoning. Such expressions of anger are often followed by shame and guilt and contribute to the feeling they have of being evil. During periods of extreme stress, transient paranoid ideation or dissociative symptoms (e.g., depersonalization) may occur (Criterion 9), but these are generally of insufficient severity or duration to warrant an additional diagnosis. These episodes occur most frequently in response to a real or imagined abandonment. Symptoms tend to be transient, lasting minutes or hours. The real or perceived return of the caregiver's nurturance may result in a remission of symptoms. 

Associated Features and Disorders

Individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder may have a pattern of undermining themselves at the moment a goal is about to be realized (e.g., dropping out of school just before graduation; regressing severely after a discussion of how well therapy is going; destroying a good relationship just when it is clear that the relationship could last). 

....then later is mentions that a common co-occuring Axis 1 disorder is an Eating Disorder.

also later is mentions: the goal in Borderline Personality Disorder is directed more toward gaining the concern of caregivers.
                                  the individual with Borderline Personality Disorder reacts to abandonment with feelings of emotional   emptiness, rage, and demands. 

Paranoid Disorder:Moderate
Schizoid Disorder:Low
Schizotypal Disorder:Moderate
Antisocial Disorder:Moderate
Borderline Disorder:Very High
Histrionic Disorder:High
Narcissistic Disorder:Low
Avoidant Disorder:High
Dependent Disorder:Very High
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder:High

-- Personality Disorder Test - Take It! --
-- Personality Disorders --

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whoever thinks they wouldn't like One Tree Hill...read these quotes [09 Jan 2008|04:53pm]
Lucas: There comes a time when every life goes off course. In this desperate moment you must choose your direction. Will you fight to stay on the path while others tell you who you are? Or will you label yourself? Will you be honored by your choice? Or will you embrace your new path? Each morning you choose to move forward or to simply give up.

Lucas: You ever look a picture of yourself, and see a stranger in the background?. It makes you wonder how many strangers have pictures of you. How many moments of other peoples life have we been in. Were we a part of someone's life when their dream came true or were we there when their dream died. Did we keep trying to get in? As if we were somehow destined to be there or did the shot take us by surprise. Just think, you could be a big part of someone elses life, and not even know it.

Lucas: Because it´s only when you´re tested that you truly discover who you are. And it´s only when you´re tested that you discover who you can be. The person that you want to be does exist, somewhere in the other side of hard work and faith, and belief and beyond the HEARTACHE and fear of what life has.

Lucas: There are moments in our lives when we find ourselves at a crossroad, afraid, confused, without a roadmap. The choices we make in those moments can define the rest of our days. Of course when faced with the unknown, most of us prefer to turn around and go back.

Lucas: (voiceover) Does this darkness have a name? This cruelty, this hatred.How did it find us? Did it steal into our lives or did we seek it out and embrace it? What happened to us? That we now send our children out into the world like we send young men to war, hoping for their safe return but knowing that some will be lost along the way. When did we lose our way? Consumed by the shadows, swallowed whole by the darkness. Does this darkness have a name? Is it your name?

Lucas: Most of our lives are a series of images, they pass us by like towns on a highway. But sometimes a moment stuns us as it happens and we know that this instant is more than a fleeting image. We know that this moment, every part of it, will live on forever.

Lucas: (voice over) Robert Louis Stevenson once said, "You cannot run away from a weakness; you must sometimes fight it out or perish. And if that be so, why not now, and where you stand?"

Peyton: (voiceover) At this moment there are 6,470,818,671 people in the world. Some are running scared. Some are coming home. Some tell lies to make it through the day. Others are just now facing the truth. Some are evil men, at war with good. And some are good, struggling with evil. Six billion people in the world. Six billion souls. And sometimes -- all you need is one.

Anna: First they put away the dealers,keep our kids safe and off the street. Then they put away the prostitutes, keep married men cloistered at home. Then they shooed away the bums, then they beat and bashed the queers, turned away asylum-seekers, fed us suspicions and fears. We didn't raise our voice, we didn't make a fuss. It's funny there was no one left to notice when they came for us.

Lucas (Voiceover) - Oliver Wendell Holmes once said: Many people die with their music still in them. Too often it is because they are always getting ready to live. Before they know it, time runs out.

Lucas: (voiceover) What a frightening thing the human is, a mass of gauges and dials and registers, and we can read only a few and those perhaps not accurately.

Lucas:(voiceover) E.E. Cummings once wrote; To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing it's best, night and day, to make you everybody else, means to fight the hardest battle, which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting.

Lucas: (voiceover) Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swaps of the not quite, the not yet, and the not at all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists. It is real. It is possible. It is yours.

Lucas's opening quote: "Do you ever wonder if we make the moments in our lives or the moments in our lives make us?"

Lucas' opening quote: "Ever wonder how long it takes to change your life? What measure of time is enough to be life-altering? Is it four years, like high school? One year? An eight-week walking tour? Can your life change in a month, or a week, or a single day? We're always in a hurry to grow up, to go places, to get ahead…but when you're young, one hour can change everything."

Lucas' opening quote: "Sometimes pain becomes such a huge part of your life that you expect it to always be there…because you can't remember a time in your life when it wasn't. But then
one day you feel something else-something that feels wrong, only because it's so unfamiliar. And in that moment you realize…you're happy."

Lucas' closing quote: "Happiness comes in many forms-in the company of good friends, in the feeling you get when you make someone else's dream come true, or in the promise of hope renewed. It's okay to let yourself be happy because you never know how fleeting that happiness might be.

"Most people are stronger than they know. They just forget to believe in it sometimes." Keith to Lucas

 Lucas's breakup quote: "I guess I should have said something. Anything. I mean, for a guy who wants to be a writer, and to suddenly seem like no words had ever been written. But for someone to tell you that they somehow stopped missing you, you're pretty much screwed-no matter what you say. See, there had to be something right? Something that no one had ever said in the history of the world, something that could change this."

Looking back on what I said all those years ago, all the hopes and dreams I had, I've come to the conclusion that if having things turn out the way you wanted them to is a measure of a successful life, then some would say I'm a failure. The important thing is not to be bitter over life's disappointments. Learn to let go of the past, and recognize that every day won't be sunny. And when you find yourself lost in the darkness of despair remember, it's only in the black of night that you see the stars, and those stars lead you back home.

"So don't be afraid to make mistakes, to stumble and fall, because most of the time the greatest rewards come from doing the things that scare you the most. Maybe you'll get everything you wish for. Maybe you'll get more than you ever could have imagined. Who knows where life will take you. The road is long and in the end, the journey is the destination." -- Whitey's time capsule message

Lucas ended the episode (and tossed his heart medications into the river) with a quote from Robert Lewis Stephenson: "You cannot run away from weakness; you must fight it out or perish. And if that be so, why not now, and where you stand?" 

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[22 Aug 2007|11:45am]
Motherhood Poll Results

In an Oprah.com poll, more than 15,000 women—both stay-at-home and working moms—opened up about their feelings on motherhood. Here are the results.

What stay-at-home moms say:

Did your mother work outside of the home?
62% Yes
38% No

Does staying home put financial strain on the family?
57% Yes
43% No

Do you wish you worked?
36% Yes
64% No

Do stay-at-home moms get the respect they deserve?
5% Yes
85% No

Overall, are you satisfied with the job you are doing as a parent?
80% Yes
20% No

Would you describe your children as happy?
97% Yes
3% No

Do you secretly feel like you are cheating or failing your children?
36% Yes
64% No

Do you secretly feel like you are cheating or failing yourself?
55% Yes
45% No

Do you feel selfish when you consider your needs for personal or professional fulfillment?
54% Yes
46% No

Do you feel judged by family, friends or other moms?
56% Yes
44% No

Are you angry or disappointed about having to choose between work and your children?
25% Yes
75% No

Did you feel prepared for what you are now having to navigate as a mother?
44% Yes
56% No

Do you think parenthood is more or less stressful than it was when you were growing up?
83% More
0% Less
17% Same

Overall, do your children have a better childhood than you did?
63% Yes
10% No
27% Same

Is it possible to give 100% to motherhood and a career?
71% Yes
29% No

On a scale from 1 to 10—1 being poor and 10 being excellent—how good a job are you doing as a parent?
0% 1 poor
0% 2
1% 3
1% 4
6% 5
9% 6
21% 7
39% 8
18% 9
4% 10 excellent

How much help do you get from your spouse?
45% As much as I need
36% Some, but I wish it were more
13% Very little
5% None

What's more difficult, staying home with the kids or going to the office?
72% Staying Home
28% Going to the office

What's your household income?
7% Less than $20,000
15% $21,000 to $40,000
20% $41,000 to $60,000
17% $61,000 to $80,000
14% $81,000 to $100,000
26% Over $100,000

If you had to choose only one, of which would you like more?
32% Time
49% Money
19% Help

Which word best describes your mood as a parent?
23% Happy
16% Satisfied
36% Hectic, but content
5% Hectic, not content
12% Overwhelmed
3% Guilty
5% Anxious

What working moms say:

Did your mother work outside of the home?
68% Yes
32% No

Would you quit to stay home with your kids if you could?
66% Yes
34% No

If you work outside of the home, do you have to for financial reasons?
91% Yes
9% No

Do stay-at-home moms get the respect they deserve?
17% Yes
83% No

Overall, are you satisfied with the job you are doing as a parent?
71% Yes
29% No

Would you describe your children as happy?
93% Yes
7% No

Do you secretly feel like you are cheating or failing your children?
55% Yes
45% No

Do you secretly feel like you are cheating or failing yourself?
62% Yes
38% No

Do you feel selfish when you consider your needs for personal or professional fulfillment?
55% Yes
45% No

Do you feel judged by family, friends or other moms?
43% Yes
57% No

Are you angry or disappointed about having to choose between work and your children?
55% Yes
45% No

Did you feel prepared for what you are now having to navigate as a mother?
48% Yes
52% No

Do you think parenthood is more or less stressful than it was when you were growing up?
85% More
4% Less
11% Same

Overall, do your children have a better childhood than you did?
60% Yes
17% No
23% Same

Is it possible to give 100% to motherhood and a career?
61% Yes
39% No

On a scale from 1 to 10—1 being poor and 10 being excellent—how good a job are you doing as a parent?
0% 1 poor
0% 2
1% 3
2% 4
7% 5
14% 6
23% 7
35% 8
12% 9
4% 10 excellent

How much help do you get from your spouse?
39% As much as I need
33% Some, but I wish it were more
11% Very little
17% None

What's more difficult, staying home with the kids or going to the office?
52% Staying Home
49% Going to the office

What's your household income?
6% Less than $20,000
17% $21,000 to $40,000
20% $41,000 to $60,000
19% $61,000 to $80,000
17% $81,000 to $100,000
23% Over $100,000

What would it be if you didn't work?
31% Less than $20,000
23% $21,000 to $40,000
22% $41,000 to $60,000
12% $61,000 to $80,000
6% $81,000 to $100,000
5% Over $100,000

If you had to choose only one, of which would you like more?
43% Time
43% Money
14% Help

Which word best describes your mood as a parent?
17% Happy
12% Satisfied
41% Hectic, but content
6% Hectic, not content
14% Overwhelmed
5% Guilty
4% Anxious

This poll (and shape your own opinion), for me, revealed something I already knew and understood to some extent. The real issue of women feeling complete is not black or white: stay-at-home-mom, working independent woman. Women feeling happy with themselves also is not "having it all" That is an illusion that has harbored more resentment amongst mothers than setting them free. Why is this such a debate? Why are women so critisized for their decisions? Feminism is about having options. And not only having options, but not feeling overwhelmed and guilty about those options. 

Men have always been expected to work but they are also not highly critisized for staying at home. But there is stilll the raging debate (mostly amongst women themselves by the way) about whether mothers should stay at home or work. Can they be both? Or must we choose?

Well I say everyone is different. I say some women are okay and can manage being a mom and work. I think some women NEED to work as well to not feel resentment but I also think some women need to stay at home to feel content.

But why is a mother's happiness just based on her kids and whether or not she works? Maybe her self-esteem is not soley based on these two factors. 
"I regret by staying at home that so much of me was given to my children and my family that I kind of got put on the back-burner. I think I did what was right for the girls but there was another part of me that says, but what about me now? What about what I gave up? I want a part of me back" (now in tears).

I think a lot of this is still remnants of the pre-feminism movement. Of ours mothers and their mothers. It hasn't been that long girls. 

I have always felt loved by my parents. And both of them worked. I hardly remember the year I was in day-care. In fact, one of the few things I do remember is one day when my DAD suprised me and picked me up early to bring me to chuck-e-cheese. I remember having my mommy and daddy coming to the end of the year party. 

I don't remember missing them, though I'm sure I did. I'm sure their were tears. But because they loved me so much, and so fully, and showed me the normality of struggling with their own self-esteem and fulfillment, I didn't feel any drastic affects of regret from my mother. It was only later in life, during family therapy when I saw tears shed because she regrets even that one year she didn't stay home. 

"But what you might want to then say to your daughter is not don't work, cause that's not really the message. The message is pay attention to what you need. Pay attention to what makes you feel awake and alive and vital."

It sounds so simple. But I believe we still are mostly taught to pay attention to what's around us, not in ourselves.
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[05 Jul 2007|08:29pm]

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[15 Jun 2007|12:28pm]
I don't know what made me think about this but you know in health class, or on public announcements against teenagers drinking when they make the lamest arguements against it?

Well they say don't drink because it's the peer pressure. You don't have to be cool to drink alcohol.

Then they use the arguement that drinking makes you look like a stupid idiot and you couldn't possibly be cool. In fact, you look like a crazy loser.

How can it be peer pressure if apparently, it doesn't make you look cool?
Okay, well it totally made sense in my head when I was in the shower.

I think being completely shitfaced is basically just fun. It's one of those things that I don't think have a hidden meaning behind it except if you're using alcohol to cope.

but people drink because you have more confidence, feel different than usual, are less stressed (sometimes humans need that), and can just laugh and have interesting experiences.

Everyone knows that everyone looks like a complete ass sometimes when they drink, but that's an awesome thing about it, and it's something everyone accepts. 

yay beer!
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[20 May 2007|05:27pm]

10th Day of the Month

A birthday on the tenth day of the month indicates a person with many interests, capable of doing several things at the same time. Many others depend on you but few offer help, so you may feel rather isolated and alone. You have a good mind and strong will, and are an adept promoter of things you believe in. When it comes to friends and possessions (which you may regard in the same light) you are quite jealous and exclusive - you do not share either. Your creative talent is best expressed in the business world, but art, particularly music or painting, is a fulfilling sideline. Hospitable but not domestic, you don't like to be burdened with the details of maintaining a home. Your vitality enables you to quickly recover from physical and emotional ills.

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[15 May 2007|10:16pm]

Thank God.
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[08 Apr 2007|02:50pm]
"The most beautiful emotion we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead, a snuffed-out candle. To sense that behind anything that can be experienced there is something that our minds cannot grasp, whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly: this is religiousness. In this sense, and in this sense only, I am a devoutly religious man."
Albert Einstein

"Few men are so obstinate in their atheism, that a pressing danger will not compel them to acknowledgment of a divine power....."

"Atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning..."
C.S. Lewis

“You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.”
C.S. Lewis

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.”
C.S. Lewis

"Talk to me about the truth of religion and I'll listen gladly. Talk to me about the duty of religion and I'll listen submissively. But don't come talking to me about the consolations of religion or I shall suspect that you don't understand.”
C.S. Lewis

"This I know-that I know nothing."

"There are men who can think no deeper than a fact."

"Doubt is uncomfortable, certainty is ridiculous."

Both Christians and atheists must not be so audacious as to claim certainty.
But atheism, in reality, is based on more ridiculous certainty than Christianity.
To be Christian means to admit that we have not, do not, and will never completely understand the world, the universe, and God. To be Christian is a divine sense of doubt, but an even greater sense of faith. Anyone who is Christian knows that sensation you get in every vein of your body when an overwhelming sense of "knowing in your gut" takes over the doubt. Honest Christians will admit the pervasiveness of doubt in even such people as ministers or priests. But the difference is our admittance that those doubts will never go away, no matter how much proof we do or do not have. This should be true for every kind of person, because to not have doubt would mean we know everything,
Atheism, in my mind, does no exist. There is no way to be completely sure that a God does not exist. To be an atheist would mean having much more faith than a Christian. Faith that they have seen it all, experienced it all, and have come to a decisive conclusion that God doesn't exist anywhere or anytime.
I have been accused of using God as a "cop-out". But in my mind, atheism is the cop-out because it requires so little, can only challenge the tangible, and leaves no room for doubt.

no one can no for sure.
To not admit doubts, is to claim Godliness. Which an atheist does not believe in. Therefore, there's the faithful, the faithfully searching, and the frightened.

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[04 Apr 2007|07:18pm]
When I really worry about something, I don't just fool around.  I even have to go to the bathroom when I worry about something.  Only, I don't go.  I'm too worried to go.  I don't want to interrupt my worrying to go.   The Catcher in the Rye

It's really too bad that so much crumby stuff is a lot of fun sometimes.  The Catcher in the Rye

Boy, when you're dead, they really fix you up.  I hope to hell when I do die somebody has sense enough to just dump me in the river or something.  Anything except sticking me in a goddam cemetery.  People coming and putting a bunch of flowers on your stomach on Sunday, and all that crap.  Who wants flowers when you're dead?  Nobody.  The Catcher in the Rye

It's funny.  All you have to do is say something nobody understands and they'll do practically anything you want them to.  The Catcher in the Rye

"I have a feeling that you're riding for some kind of a terrible, terrible fall.  But I don't honestly know what kind.... It may be the kind where, at the age of thirty, you sit in some bar hating everybody who comes in looking as if he might have played football in college.  Then again, you may pick up just enough education to hate people who say, 'It's a secret between he and I.'  Or you may end up in some business office, throwing paper clips at the nearest stenographer.  I just don't know."  The Catcher in the Rye

"This fall I think you're riding for - it's a special kind of fall, a horrible kind.  The man falling isn't permitted to feel or hear himself hit bottom.  He just keeps falling and falling.  The whole arrangement's designed for men who, at some time or other in their lives, were looking for something their own environment couldn't supply them with.  Or they thought their own environment couldn't supply them with.  So they gave up looking.  They gave it up before they ever really even got started."  The Catcher in the Rye

"Among other things, you'll find that you're not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behavior.  You're by no means alone on that score, you'll be excited and stimulated to know.  Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now.  Happily, some of them kept records of their troubles.  You'll learn from them - if you want to.  Just as someday, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you.  It's a beautiful reciprocal arrangement.  And it isn't education.  It's history.  It's poetry."  The Catcher in the Rye

"Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all.  Thousands of little kids, and nobody's around - nobody big, I mean - except me.  And I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff.  What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff - I mean if they're running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them.  That's all I do all day.  I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all.  I know it's crazy, but that's the only thing I'd really like to be."  The Catcher in the Rye

I am in love with Holden Caulfield

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[02 Apr 2007|06:53pm]
So I thought it was weird that's it's been over a year since I did my sermon and my three best friends haven't heard it yet.

so here ya go:


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[25 Mar 2007|05:30pm]

Lucas's opening quote: "Did you ever look at a picture of yourself and see a stranger in the background? It makes you wonder how many people have pictures of you."

Lucas's closing quote: "Did you ever look at a picture of yourself and see a stranger in the background? It makes you wonder how many people have pictures of you, how many moments of other people's lives we've been in. Were we part of someone's life when their dream came true, or were we there when their dreams died? Did we keep trying to get in, as if we were somehow destined to be there? Or did the shot take us by surprise? Just think, you could be a big part of someone else's life, and not even know it." 

When I first saw this episode of One Tree Hill, I remembered the pictures I have from my childhood with people in the background. Whether it was on a carousel, at a carnival, on a beach, or a parade. I'd wonder what was going on for them that day, who they were, what they were doing now.

We all have pictures like these. With people in the blur of the background. There could be a murderer, a rape victim, a wife playing the role of a soccer mom who was beaten by her husband 15 minutes before hand, but you'd never know because she's smiling in your picture. How many different moments in other people's lives have we captured?
How many moments have other people caught in our lives?

Someone, somewhere, has a picture of you in the blurs of their background. Are you angry? laughing? upset? fighting? dancing? embracing?
Maybe you are thinking about something really important, life-changing even...a moment no one would think to capture on camera. But a complete stranger has you, in that extremely pertinent moment in your life, in a picture, probably in a shoe box, tucked away in a basement shelf. Maybe one day they'll look past their niece or mother posing for the camera, and see you. Maybe they'll think about you, see themselves in your face, in your expression.

It's weird to think about. The fact that you could have a huge impact on someone's life for simply existing in the background of their life. You could be their muse, or changed their mind about something. You affected a stranger, and though you will never meet this person, though you will never know why you affected them so much, it's comforting.

Our world is so big. But there are these kinds of connections, these haphazard instances in our lives that may seem irrelevent to us, but are so relevant to the big picture.

So I looked through pictures today. 

My sister Julie is at the bottom of the slide. I do not know the girl climbing up the slide, but I took interest in her. She looks older than the other kids in the picture (that I cut) and in a uniform. But though she may be older, she's  not embarassed to be on that slide, or the first one on it. I wonder what she's climbing to now. And if she's still ahead.

The man on the right, though not the focus of our camera, had a camera. It's strange to think he has a video of my family and I at that moment. Maybe his family has watched it and laughed at our costumes. Or maybe he's alone. Maybe he's not even alive. Or maybe he lives 2 minutes away.

Though surreal to sit and think about something so out there, so faraway, so uncertain...it's one of those things we'll never know, but are still comforted by.

Because you know that though there'll be times when you feel like your standing on the sidelines, or simply existing in the background, you could also be standing out to a complete stranger.

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Just because we smoke and drink does not mean we're not "Above the Influence" [16 Mar 2007|03:25pm]

I'm above the influence. I even took the quiz online: www.abovetheinfluence.com

I get high. I get drunk every weekend.
I'm still myself.
They don't erode who you are, only if you let them. Only you can do that. The drugs are just another tool available, like material items, or food, or video games.

Take some responsibility health-freak kids.

If you've ever been "peer-pressured", it's your issue, not the drugs or the culture.

Above the Influence should be encouraging kids to be aware of the influences, get exposed to them (even if it means sitting sober at a party), and decide what you think is right or wrong.

Above the Influence should take their own advice and stop pressuring kids into a box.

Marijuana isn't bad.

It's better than buying a new coach purse every weekend.

There's plenty of people whose lives have been destroyed "because of" drugs, but it is their own self-destruction.

You can self-destruct without marijuana or alcohol.
By Above the Influence blaming teen problems soley on substances will lead to further denial of their emotional issues that are the roots of the addiction.

I am more "Above the Influence" now than I had been before smoking pot or drinking because beforehand I was insecure and timid. Drugs in no way increased my self-esteem but my point is that even without drugs you can be "Under the Influence".

I'm Above the Influence because I make my own decisions, have confidence in those decisions, am loyal, do not pressure people, help people, and keep a balance between educating and reflection, and partying and social life.

I hate how programs like Above the Influence make everyone who smokes pot or drinks or who has done hard drugs seem like bad influences. It affects me because I know my sister thinks less of me because I drink and smoke. Though she finally admitted to me that she knows she'll probably do it, she still critisizes me and it's so hard to prove that I'm not like the people in those stupid commercials because the media is such a powerful INFLUENCE.

My sister turns to the television for information on how to avoid "peer-pressure" instead of talking to me because she probably thinks I gave in.

Drinking is only a problem if you use it as a tool to deal with your world.This holds true for marijuana as well.
I also believe that immaturity plays a big role in the "pothead" syndrome.
There's plenty of smokers out there (like Kate Peterson and her boyfriend) who smoke all the time but are also very well educated, into the original culture of the marijuana-movement, and have a life outside of marijuana.
"Potheads" use pot as an excuse to be lazy teenagers. They can't take responsibility for their lack of motivation to study, or support other people, so they just say "I was high".
You can be high and help. You can be high and do something important. Believe it or not.
You always have some control over your mind. (at least when on straight marijuana.)

Another thing Above the Influence has done wrong is try to scare kids.
They don't need another person stamping the words "OR EVEN DEATH" under their eyelids. They know. They are fully aware by now. What they don't understand is why people do cocaine even with that ingrained stamp, or why teenagers drive drunk, or why ADULTS...yes ADULTS, smoke, drink, shoot up, etc.
The most dangerous of all drugs is ignorance.

If you don't know why people (no matter what age, ethnicity, or gender) choose to do things even when they are fully aware of the "or even death" scare, then believe it or not, it will be easier to self-destruct.

If you don't see that the kid who has to smoke a bowl behind the school fence at 7:00am does it because he's constantly anxious and on gaurd and afraid of what he can't accomplish...then you will be confused.

But when you know the reasons, good or bad, that people smoke or drink, or any other potential "tool", you can decide for yourself whether you want to be your own "tool" in life. Smoking marijuana can be a good experience. It can open your eyes to different perspectives. It can also make you paranoid.
But school can cause distress, anxiety, and even trauma. But it also can help you develop as a person.
Does that mean you shouldn't ever go?

No. So don't tell these kids what to do, or think.

Because I sure as hell don't.

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