god meets girl

bad writing
my friend natalie is a remedial english teacher at a community college here in la and she always has some great writing to share with us. there was one compare and contrast writing assignment where the student wrote about birds and dogs. and then there was the hard core porn essay. grading papers is never boring though, i suppose.

nat, this is for you: the winner of the worst writing contest. and look, he eve has a website of more of his writings.
posted by Paige @ 6:55 AM   1 comments

club kids
i spent the day with a dozen 16 year old girls, the sweet sixteen of the younger sister of one of the girls i have mentored. this was an opportunity that most 27 year olds would pass on, but not me. i love it. and i miss it.

for years now i have pondered teaching a high school class or going back to working full time with high school kids. and i honestly don't know what holds me back except that i thought i would be in a different place when i returned to that work. what a silly thing to hold me back, huh?

or maybe it is really that i am too imperfect to be church to someone else.
posted by Paige @ 11:44 PM   0 comments

i missed an eventful day at our office yesterday since i was out traveling in central ca. aparently this big truck was parked for 'a minute' while the driver went into our neighbor gelson's for a drink. the truck either slipped out of gear or never was in it, and came barrelling down mulholland where it eventually smashed into our small retaining wall. by the grace of God, not one person (or car) was hurt. and i say Grace in the most literal sense which you'll see when you hear these stories: it happened at about 1pm, when most people are out for walks up to the store for lunch or running errands. cars are typically parked on the inside of that wall - often that is where our moble car washers will do their work, but not yesterday. and there was even one woman who pulled right in front of our driveway to read the mapbook when she got a little lost, but the truck veered just a few feet in front of her. and had it not been for the tree on the side of the wall, the truck would have plowed into the corner suite of our building - a children's tutoring business.

what remains now is God's perspective, a hole in the wall and stains on the pavement.

posted by Paige @ 1:08 PM   0 comments

chipotle, my sweet chipotle
thanks to my friend sarah, i am a huge fan of chipotle. those huge burritos are like nothing else. and apparently i am not the only chipotle fan, since there is a whole website devoted to us at www.chiptolefan.com.

in addition to getting depressing nutrition information (my burrito of choice is about half of one's daily suggested calories and twice the daily suggested amount of fat!!!), you can get recipies (like for the rice!), skim the ingredients, etc. but my favorite part of the website is that you can search for your chipotle soulmate - the person who get's their burrito the exact same way as you! according to the site, there is only one person who gets their burrito exactly like me, but she's a girl and in texas. oh well. here's hoping that the man of my dreams opts for a veggie fajita burrito with rice, black beans, sour cream, corn salsa, cheese and quac.
posted by Paige @ 11:16 AM   5 comments

my life is my church
my life is my church.
-reverend run

reverend run, of run dmc spoke these words this morning on kroq. he was promoting his new reality show for the fall, but i was especially struck by his comment. basically he was saying that he has thought about opening a church many times and decided that a reality show was a better way to share his life with others. i know, it's a cheesy and shameless plug for his show - but the man's got a point. our lives are church in that through them we create community and affect others. in essense, it is our lives that support others, not a building or an institution.
posted by Paige @ 9:18 AM   2 comments

vicarious entertainment
joel stein has some interesting opinions about the new harry potter book and adults' fascination with children's media in today's times. at first skim of his bitingly sarcastic commentary it is easy to discount his ravings. but when you really get to the heart of what he is analyzing, well, the man's got a point. why are we so loyal and quick to support the simplistic, children's entertainment?

this particular quote i find to be quite telling:
A culture that simplifies its entertainment down to fairy tales is doomed to simplify the world down to good and evil. that's the closest i've seen stein write anything remotely political, but could it possibly be that our ability to accept that others are "evil" and america is "good" is related to such simplistic media as children's movies and books? stein is indirectly arguing that we are being lazy in our ability to think critically - a skill that is sharpened by reading books and seeing movies that are intended to affect thought. this laziness applied to our leisure activities could arguably be laziness applied to our political positions.

of course if you take the position that art is imitating life, well, then it is the world that is good and evil. the books and movies just relect that.
posted by Paige @ 9:49 AM   2 comments

here's a few pics. i will try to get more.

posted by Paige @ 11:02 PM   2 comments

how democracy really works
lately i have received quite a few forwarded email petitions to 'save npr'. in fact, i receive many emails of a political nature from various friends who assume i am with them on the issue. i get a good chuckle out of it because the nature of my inclusive personality means i have friends from all across the political spectrum. many of my christian friends send forwards pleading for me to contact my congressman to ban gay marriage, while others from my environmentalist friends urge me to contact that same congressman to get him to lobby bush to adopt the kyoto protocol. i rarely send any such emails because i now know exactly what happens to them. if they are even read, they get read by an intern who has little knowledge of the issues at stake, nor the power to do anything about it anyway.

people often discount my interest in popular culture as having no relevance to anything of importance*. of course, i strongly disagree with this philosophy. popular culture impacts how we act in life and creates (or arguably, maintains) the social structure that we function in. in this case, democracy. although if we all gave it enough thought we would realize that our one opinion on a political subject has little impact on the outcome of a bill, we still act as though it does. At one point in history (and of course, in theory) our representatives have taken into account our individual opinion, but in practice, it means little.

So why do we continue to act as though it does mean something? because of mr. smith. in the movie mr. smith goes to washington, jimmy stewart is a green senator who defeats the mean, corrupt senators by rallying mom-and-pops in his constituency. the movie hinges on the portrayal that mom-and-pops affected a change in the system. that feeling that capra leaves you with at the end of the movie is the same idealistic emotion that a forwarded political email is attempting to invoke in its reader. but what happens to that email petition that you sign? most of the time an email like that gets a courteous response from the intern or junior staffer and is then deleted. yes, this sounds very pessimistic - but ask yourself why you see my explanation as pessimistic? i argue that it is because of the mr. smith idealism that popular culture feeds to you.

*on a side note, this dynamic is ingeniously illustrated in an episode of king of the hill where bobby joins connie's quiz bowl team as the "pop culture expert" and takes the team to the championship.
posted by Paige @ 11:02 AM   0 comments

the 4th of july is one of my favorite holidays. there's just something about fighting with the heat, bbqs, beer, water, fireworks, sleeping in, friends. i don't remember many specific christmas', but i think i can remember at least the last 10 4th-of-julys. the last few of which were with the edison girls - i miss you guys! it's just not the same to watch the capitol fourth in your house instead of at the fdic. and of course, not much can beat getting drenched watching the goo goo dolls!

but this year is not too bad. it's great to be in dry heat again for the fourth. i spent all morning watching the twilight zone marathon (i'm such a geek for this one, but it's one of my favorite things!). bogart and i went for a hike by the hollywood sign. and i'll spend the evening at a beach party watching fireworks. sometimes life is good.
posted by Paige @ 2:58 PM   0 comments

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