Tag Archives: hell

Blasphemy!

Don’t you love eating in diners?  For me, it ranks right up there with watching Barbara Walters receive a lap dance.  My roommate took me out to one in our neighborhood tonight.  Along with our food, though, we unwillingly consumed an hour’s worth of Pastor Arnold Murray’s Family Bible Study.  Of all the things to blare on a flatscreen television in a New York City diner…The Shepherd’s Chapel from Gravette, Arkansas?  I kind of felt like God was trying to send me a message, especially after I posted my blasphemous Ash Wednesday poem…a casual “shape up or ship out (to the depths of hell)” kind of thing. 

But honestly I’ve become more of a Buddhist lately, so I think I’ll be all right.  I haven’t begun meditating or practicing yoga or pilgriming anywhere, yet, but it’s on the to-do list (right after #11: Be Serenaded, Preferably to the Stylings of This, This, or if nothing else, This).  

At one point Pastor Arnold Murray started going off on, not surprisingly, liberals (though he prefers the term “nutcases”).  I enjoyed the way the word rolled off his Arkansas tongue.  He said the problem with liberals (among other things) is they spend too much time listening to college professors…which I tend to think is the antithesis of a problem. 

There was a speaker directly above our booth, so it really felt like he was right there with us.  In case you’ve never seen Pastor Arnold (despite his Bible study being televised on 225 stations in the US and Canada):

“Life without discipline is not much fun,” indeed.

Another Hot Mess of a Blog Post

It’s 3am.  I just got home from work.  I’m sitting on the cot meant for camping that we makeshifted into a sofa, there’s a strange man’s sweatshirt suddenly hanging on a hook in our bathroom, and I’m eating crackers, slices of pepperoni, and orange-mango yogurt.  Life really couldn’t be much better.  Sometimes you just need a year or so to lead a lifestyle that some people would find terribly unappealing.  Hence: part-time jobs.

The thing that’s great about part-time jobs is you get to do such ridiculous things and get paid for it (even if it’s not very much).  Sure, no health benefits, no company car, no grueling 12 hour days, but for now at least, I’m happy with the decision. 

Tonight I learned that there’s an HGTV show called Sleep On It about buying houses that uses Meatloaf’s “Paradise By The Dashboard Light” as its theme even though that song is all about 17 year olds having sex in a car (Girl: Will you love me forever? Boy: Let me sleep on it, baby, baby, let me sleep on it).  Whatever.  It’s probably the best duet ever along with Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes’ “Up Where We Belong.”

Al Gore didn’t even need to have Melissa Etheridge write a Grammy winning song for An Inconvenient Truth, he could have just used Joe Cocker: “Love lift us up where we belong / Far from the world we know / Up where the clear winds blow.”

Clearly he’s saying that love offers an escape from the gray wind that is smog in our polluted cities.

Joe and Jennifer making beautiful music.

Joe and Jennifer making beautiful music.

The Smallness of Our Blips and the Largeness of Today’s Election

Apparently the Queens Library is pretty slow about delivering materials to one branch requested from another branch, so instead of taking out the book I’ve been waiting to arrive for a good 7-10 days, I took out a book called Endless Universe: Beyond the Big Bang. Intriguing, right? I’m not sure what caught my eye about it while walking through the stacks, but there’s a plug from Stephen Hawking on the front cover AND upon looking at the back flap you find photos of the authors who are two of the cutest bespectacled men this side of the Big Dipper. I even showed Kathleen their pictures, but she wasn’t as impressed as I was. A few minutes later I was still ridiculously excited, going on and on about this book and she said, “I can’t begin to deal with you right now.”

Books like this are great because they tell you things you kind of already had an idea about, but you hardly ever stop to think about. Like this:

The Milky Way’s cosmic neighbor, the Andromeda Galaxy, lies 2.9 million light-years from the Earth; the light received from its stars today was emitted before the earliest humans roamed the Earth.

I just read that, say, 20 minutes ago on the train. It made me go, “Woah,” and I looked up at the guy across the aisle from me with huge awestruck eyes who looked back at me like, “I can’t begin to deal with you right now.” So then I looked up at the train ceiling trying to imagine just how far the universe would extend past where I was sitting, trying to fathom just how small of a blip of my existence really is. I’ve never understood why people aren’t more preoccupied with stuff like this. I mean, I know people turn to religion to answer silly questions like…where the hell are we right now and what the hell are we doing here…but still. Even during Sunday School when I was, like, nine years old it occurred to me to ask my teacher how God could have just always existed.

Anyway, enough about light-years and bespectacled men for now. The polls open in a few hours!! Maybe people aren’t stopping to contemplate time and space like me, but they’re definitely stopping to contemplate politics. The people across from me on the train were talking about baby daddys, baby mamas, and Barack’s grandmother. The woman with the 7 month old daughter whose baby daddy is doing time (1-3 years), said, “Maybe it’s a sign how she died right before the election and all.” And the man with the 16 year old daughter whose baby mama remarried, said, “I hope not.”

Seemed like the man took the woman to mean her death would have to be a bad sign, but I don’t think so. My grandmother died a couple weeks ago. She was in my dream last night, watching me while I read a passage from the New Testament at the funeral of my former bus driver who in real life is actually a crossing guard who wears a wig. I was completely fumbling over my words, but regardless, she was watching peacefully from the back row.

I wear a scarf she knitted years and years ago. Her photo is on my newly installed Ikea shelf. I keep thinking about how she told my cousin she never remarried because, “There are a lot of crumbs out there.” Guess what I’m trying to say is, death is sad, paralyzingly sad sometimes, but I don’t think it can ever be a bad sign. People are created, people travel through space for a short amount of time, and then who knows what happens? We leave this dimension? We cease to exist? We burn in hell for all eternity? I dunno. But I’m voting in a few hours and I’m infinitely glad I exist at this time and this place to be able to do it.