catecumen: (when I first saw you)
Tonight, I am the Doctor who does not want to say goodbye ... who is too often alone, and should not be .... and tonight, I choose to honor all who have leaped into the unknown, with no guarantee of the outcome, but nevertheless willing to take the ultimate risk for any chance, however uncertain, of being reunited with the ones they love.
catecumen: (WTF)
My Yahoo! e-mail account sent out a spam message to all my contacts, shortly after I started using SaneBox (which required giving them my password). Coincidence? Or does SaneBox have a security problem?
catecumen: (face your manga)
I've been attending a small church run by some old friends of mine, and I enjoy being able to see them every week. More and more, I find that I disagree with the theological positions of this church, yet I still want to go there. Part of it is because of the people I like, but another part of it is that I find it far more intellectually challenging to attend a church where I disagree and where I am motivated to go look things up and research the basis for my own positions, instead of attending somewhere safe and boring that simply reinforces what I already believe. Does this make sense to anyone else?
catecumen: (improve the silence)
I don't post here very often (although I do read), since Facebook has become my primary online "hangout," but I have the feeling that I'll be at Dreamwidth more often since LiveJournal is apparently on a fast slide down to oblivion. There are some things about this platform that I still like better than Facebook. Even when I don't use an account much, I still like having it.

So, thank you, Dreamwidth, for still being here.
catecumen: (my happiness)
When I look back at this time in my life, I won't remember the arguments over money or dinner. I will remember having coffee with my old friend Christine Bunt at Borders, and I will remember that the New Mutants have brought back my dear Poor Dead Doug (Ramsey). With Cypher, Magik, Rachel Grey (she's calling herself Marvel Girl these days, right?) and Pete Wisdom all currently active in the Marvel universe, somebody's going to have to launch that rescue mission to recover Kitty Pryde sometime soon.
catecumen: (my happiness)
For too long, when I feel happy, I have then felt guilty and condemned for it, on the premise that to be content in a world of suffering is to be cold and uncaring toward all those who are in pain. Today I choose to allow myself to be willing to enjoy a sense of peace without feeling that my own serenity makes me morally responsible for harm to others. Just as finishing my dinner neither helps nor hurts the starving elsewhere in the world, my happiness is not the cause of the suffering of others.
catecumen: Ellen custom made by dhampir (contemplative kitten)
It's now after Thanksgiving (even though we're actually doing our Thanksgiving tomorrow - Sunday), so it was time to put up the Christmas tree, and McKenzie just had to check it out for herself!
catecumen: (EP)
Did you ever get the feeling that the reality we're living in right now is an alternate universe created by someone's wishes? Let's look at just the fannish wishes we might have made, and which might have sounded totally impossible, if things had happened differently.

A world in which ....

Christian Slater and Robert Downey, Jr., are alive and well and starring in new projects;

A recast "Star Trek" movie was a huge success, after multiple theatrical movies and four spinoffs, one of which starred Kate Mulgrew of "Ryan's Hope" as a starship captain;

"Smallville" is in its ninth season;

Madonna did get to play "Evita" in the movie version, and there are musical versions of "Wicked" and "Legally Blonde," and a stage adaptation of "Xanadu";

Joss Whedon wrote an "X-Men" title, and the "X-Men" comics have become a successful movie franchise (although the Dark Phoenix storyline had to be changed to allow one of the stars to defect to "Superman Returns");

After a successful "Battlestar Galactica" remake, there is now a major-network remake of "V" .....

I could go on and on about the fannish improbabilities which have happened.

What improbable realities sometimes make YOU feel as if THIS is an alternate reality?
catecumen: Ellen custom made by dhampir (Cordelia and Doyle photo)
When watching Charisma Carpenter in Legend of the Seeker, did anyone else get the feeling that she was not playing the role of "Triana" but playing the role of Cordelia Chase playing the role of Triana?
catecumen: Ellen custom made by dhampir (I have issues)
Could some Calvinist out there explain to me why someone can say with a peaceful mind, "True justice would be hell for the whole human race, wouldn't it?" (Source: "Calvinism, Arminianism, so what?" - but that's only one succinct statement of something which is widely believed by many.)

I can never quite understand how anyone can calmly believe that true justice requires that every human being who ever drew a single breath SHOULD suffer eternal conscious torment, that any exception to this rule is a miraculously gracious concession to which no human being could ever be entitled, and that the never-ending agony of each and every person ever born would be righteous and beautiful and perfect, and that we should joyfully worship the God who made it so.
catecumen: (weird and lacking in interpersonal skill)
Why it is that whenever someone messes up, even in fiction, I feel guilty? I'm watching "FlashForward," and the fictional mistakes of others make me feel sick with guilt, as if I am the one responsible.

It doesn't do much good to teach myself not to feel guilty about not being able to do everything for everybody if I'm just going to absorb guilt from fiction on TV.

Then again, maybe it's the political undertone in the "V" promos that is making me feel ill.
catecumen: Ellen custom made by dhampir (alley-oops)
This had been the kitten's scheduled spay-day, but since her digestive problems continue, I didn't think that she was in good enough shape for surgery yet, so we postponed the spay for two weeks. Her latest new food, Taste of the Wild grain-free, seems to be helping somewhat - she has put on a bit of weight, and her coat feels silkier to the touch - but it hasn't fully resolved the problem.

This morning the kitten particularly impressed me with what seemed to be logical thinking from a cat's point of view. She was watching me scooping out the litterbox. With clumping litter, I use little plastic poop-disposal bags. After observing what I was doing for awhile, she came up next to me, squatted and pooped right directly on a plastic bag. I guess she figured she was helping me cut out the middle step by delivering right to the destination! I gently picked her up and put her back into the litter box to finish her business. I hope she got the message, but I couldn't scold her for what probably seemed to her like a very helpful thing to do.
catecumen: Ellen custom made by dhampir (road trip rainbow)
I felt a little chill when I found Edith Stein's "On the Problem of Empathy" being quoted in the introduction to Evan Thompson's "Between Ourselves: Second-Person Issues in the Studies of Consciousness." There's definitely a connection going on here between my various areas of recent study. This is heading somewhere.
catecumen: Ellen custom made by dhampir (alley-oops)
In order to try to keep the kitten (and the dogs) out of the kitchen garbage, I have been tying up the half-empty bags, but that makes it difficult for Ken and Jess to use them, so this weekend we bought two tall, covered kitchen trash containers for the kitchen, the kind that are operated by a foot-pedal to open and close the top.

So, how well do they work at keeping the critters out of the trash?

When we arrived home after dinner this evening, Jess commented that she hadn't seen our little mischief-making kitten since she came in. Only moments after she left the kitchen, I heard a "pop" and I turned around to see the lid of one of the trash containers opening and the kitten shooting out. :-)
catecumen: Ellen custom made by dhampir (capable of so much more)
Tonight marks three years since the death of a friend. Tonight is also the beginning of Yom Kippur this year.

I'm currently exploring my Jewish heritage once again, and although I was never observant even before my conversion to Christianity, I was tempted to consider at least a partial fast this year. It would bother my husband though, so I won't do it. I suppose it would be hypocritical anyway for me to do even a partial fast, since I am already committed to working tomorrow. It would be more of a symbolic gesture of recognition of the reality that I have done wrong, in many ways, but that redemption is still possible. As long as we're alive, it is not too late. Although I'm easily distracted and too easily discouraged, I still don't like to give up on anyone, not even myself.
catecumen: (EP)
For at least the rest of September, I'm going to be studying a Jewish spiritual path called "Mussar," and doing what is called an "accounting of the soul," to be more honest with myself about my flaws and make some real effort to be a better person.

One of the issues that I have run across in every attempt I make to learn and practice better conflict resolution and peacemaking skills, in trying to show more respect for other people, is that we are all locked into so much habitual black-and-white, either/or thinking. Any acknowledgement that "yes, Person A has done some significant good in the past to help Person B" gets immediately translated into "Person A can do no wrong, Person B can do no right" when it doesn't mean that at all. So I'm afraid to speak when I feel that I should.

We each make mistakes and we need to take responsibility for our actions. Certainly forgiveness delivered to the wrongdoer is premature until the wrongdoer acknowledges the wrongdoing, although the offended person may voluntarily choose to forgive for his/her own peace of mind rather than for the wrongdoer's sake.

I myself and others need to recognize that each individual can do both good things and bad things, and the good doesn't negate the bad nor does the bad negate the good. None of us are cardboard cut-outs. We are three-dimensional and full of shades of grey. It's so difficult to remember this, though, when our emotions tell us that people must be either bad or good, and that if someone did something wrong, that person must have been a bad person from the beginning and all the apparent good the person may have done was meaningless.

So, as an ethical and moral question rather than a legal one, if a person has done some good things, should that carry any weight in determining whether that person should be forgiven when they do wrong? Should it affect the severity of the consequences to be imposed upon that person even after the person has acknowledged and taken responsibility for a mistake?
catecumen: Ellen custom made by dhampir (walk your own path)
I am trying to watch the streaming Rosh Hashanah service from Beth Adam's online humanistic Jewish congregation on the netbook, but the pets keep interrupting. The dogs are barking so loudly as I type this that I can't hear what Rabbi Laura is saying. (When she isn't knocking things off the table, McKenzie the kitten likes to sit on the netbook keyboard, blocking the screen.) So I'm not giving the streaming service my full attention. Do I ever give my full attention to anything these days?

I am going to spend much of this time (the Days of Awe from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur) reading and studying again about Judaism, from my extensive collection of books and from the 'net. However, I am still drawn to the teachings and the charismatic figure of Jesus / Yeshua, and I'm not ready to give up including him as a guide upon whatever spiritual path I walk.

I don't fully accept the argument best illustrated by the C.S. Lewis "trilemma" that Jesus claimed to be God and was therefore either fully God in human form, or else evil or mad. Jesus taught in parables, and often challenged his audience with extreme rhetoric, and many did not understand his words. Perhaps some of the sayings which have been recorded as claims to be the only path to God the Father or to be the same being as God the Father were significantly misinterpreted. Perhaps there is still both good and rational guidance to be found in contemplating his teachings in the context of the Judaism within which he taught.
catecumen: Ellen custom made by dhampir (princess kitten)
Dear kitten: This is MY keyboard. I type words on it. I know that you find it to be a nice, warm place for you to take a nap. I have a keyboard blocker so that you can do that, when I'm NOT using it. However, I am using it now. MINE.


catecumen: Ellen custom made by dhampir (Default)

September 2012

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