Monday, December 24, 2007

Independence Day

Here is a picture I drew several months ago, on two post-its. Thanks to Leanne for both coloring and scanning it.

Friday, December 21, 2007

On Love

Quite recently I've had some new thoughts on love, on what it is and means and can be. These aren't thoughts that are in any way revolutionary in the world; rather they are the kind of insights one has when one is close to understanding something fundamental—shadows of the ah-ha moment, echoes of Newton under the apple tree or Archimedes in his bathtub.

No, I'm not going to tell you what these insights are—they aren't complete anyway (and besides, I wouldn't want to jinx any further discoveries away). I merely want to acknowledge that there are things I don't know and don't understand. That's big for me (those of you who know me know this to be true). There are things I thought I had pretty much figured out that I only saw the surface of, and now, in recent moments, I have glimpsed the possibility of something more, something deeper. I don't know why they have come now; I'm not in love with anyone and don't really expect to be (can you ever expect or not expect that?). And yet, in quiet moments, in my own thoughts, and in the words of others present and recorded, I have had a flash of inspiration here and an intimation of something there.

Odd that it comes unbidden and at times when I don't even feel my best or most worthy. Odd what God proposes to build out of the rubble I haven't even the humility to offer. Odd how time is looped and double-stitched.

Allow me an unrelated thread leading to a pertinent question.

I read The Lord of the Rings just a year or so ago and when I finished the last book (which is far more grand and grandiose than any movie can portray), I said to myself (and others) that when Jesus Christ comes again with justice in his right hand, in his left will be his own dog-eared copy of The Return of the King, just so he can make sure he is properly outdoing it. It's that awesome.

Which begs the question: What of the things we imagine and put in books or movies? Can we imagine beyond the capacity of reality to contain? Or in other words, can we outstrip God by imagining things greater and farther than he is prepared or capable of producing? Won't God, being God, always be one or more steps ahead of us, ensuring that we be surprised at all the pivotal moments and always having yet another surprise in store?1

So what of love, I ask. What of those Jane Austen books and those BBC movies in which love becomes something so transcendent we must either adopt a safely cynical view or be branded a hopeless romantic?2 What of their monologues in which (alright: romantic) love is redefined in terms so forceful as to make hearts burst and in which love literally becomes as real and as strong as gravity?3 Is it merely foolishness in a book, or is this something real?

1Or, if God's not your cup of tea, will mankind ever stop being amazed by the universe of things and ideas? Or won't humanity, having discovered all there is to discover in the universe (if this is even possible), obtain the power to make imagination real and thus match book with reality at every turn?
2The word "romantic" in this phrase clearly does not refer to candlelit dinners, walks by moonlight, and general lovey-dovey-ness.
3And yet if it were truly like gravity we wouldn't all be so interested in losing weight.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

A Thought

At the very instant you turn the age your mom or dad was when you were born, they are twice your age.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Ye Olde Junk Shoppe

My brothers and I used to watch this at my cousins' house over and over. I think it must be my earliest and most enduring impression of A Christmas Carol.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Book Report

I'm currently, right this minute, and presently listening to that classic of classics, "The Final Countdown," by Europe. Why, you ask? Because I heard it as part of the outstanding soundtrack of this book report on To Kill a Mockingbird. Thanks to K-Swiss for enlightening me on exactly how to kill those dang birds.

Monday, December 10, 2007

First Date

Here is one of the adverts shown before the feature on my bro and his now-wife's first date. We were in London (thus it is for a British company) seeing X-Men III. Don't ask why we flew halfway around the world to see a [crummy] Hollywood movie—just revel in the knowledge that it worked out.

The Odd Couple

Merry Christmas, yall.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Another Update

I went to Supercuts saturday and the girl who cut my hair was none other than the cool girl from years past (see this post). She sat me down, asked what I wanted done, and began to cut. We started in on the same old conversation, but this time we got somewhere. I found out she likes classic rock and that she recently went to Las Vegas to see Roger Waters in concert. And she likes to snowshoe.

When she was done, I paid, gave her a two-dollar tip, and asked her to sign the back of my old free-haircut card, which conveniently I had with me since I brought in the book it is marking in case of a wait. The handwriting matches perfectly the older sign-offs, so I know the last time we met was on 4/5/07 and that only one other person has touched my hair in the meantime.

One more cut till I get a freebie.

I guess my hair must've been reelley long for that second haircut. Or I flirted really well.


I had so much fun researching that last post that I thought I would share some of it with you. It turns out that has a Try It On Studio which you can use to see how you might look with a certain hair color. Here are some of my experiments:


They also have a "Moxie Meter" that can tell you how sassy you are and how much hair coloring you are likely to be able to stand. I got "Mostly Moxed": "Mmm hmm. You've definitely got a cheeky side, so pluck up the courage to mox out.Think creatively about a new all-over color or get more daring with your highlight colors."

"Mox out"? What does that even mean?

On T-babes (for Zach)

The other night I was at home playing Yahtzee with my family. My sisters each wrote their name at the top of their card with the last name of some hot guy they, uh, admired (question: should it be "Mary Jones" or "Mary Lee Jones"?). Then Jen turned to me to see that I had not added a last name to my card. She asked, "Which girl do you think is hot?"

Let's not go into the ethics of this (neither the objectifying of women by declaring their babe-status on a Yahtzee score card nor the implications of taking a woman's last name); let's just say that we settled on the name "David Pfeiffer." But it got me thinking.1

It was in this frame of mind that I was walking through Target a few days later when I saw the largest collection of t-babes ever: the hair dye models. Zach-Attach, perhaps we should fall in love with Miss Blonded-by-the-Light or Ms. Spiced Cider. Or, if red is your thing, say hello to Madam Cinnaberry or Lady Auburnin' Hot.


As for me, I'll be known as "David Brown-to-be-Wild" in Yahtzee from now on.

1Okay, actually I have been thinking about it for awhile. Z-Glenn and I were quizzing A-money on the topic of t-babes just a few weeks ago with little success. And over a year ago I was in Europe wondering what it meant that Helen of Troy was the most beautiful woman in the world—is beauty in her case a mythological symbol, a Platonic form, or a cultural standard, a measurable unit?


Here are some gifts for you, some things I'd been meaning to share:

The Beatles performing the play-within-a-play from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.

A short essay entitled "On the Implausibility of the Death Star's Trash Compactor" by Joshua Tyree (thanks to Pat for finding this online).

The scene in To Kill a Mockingbird where Atticus gives his closing argument at the trial.


Today I was wandering in the Wilk and stumbled upon a tuba ensemble playing Christmas songs. This was followed by a Dixieland jazz band doing the same.

So, gift-giving is a Christmas tradition, apparently because the wise men brought gifts to the baby Jesus. That seems a little oblique to me, and it begs the question of whether we should pull other traditions from the events surrounding Christ's birth. For example, ought we to go look at babies like the shepherds did? I guess we could all run over to the hospital and stand beatifically outside the nursury. Or, like Joseph, should we make it a season of adoption?

Hang on, there's something in that. I mean, maybe we don't need to all run out and adopt children officially, but lots of people take it upon themselves to "adopt" struggling friends and families and even strangers and make sure they have a good Christmas. Hmmm—can anybody think of any other traditions we might glean from the first Christmas?

In Search of the Christmas Spirit

That's my theme for this December. I'm looking for it, wherever it may be. I'm in Utah currently and have had several conversations with friends about this topic, resulting in several leads:

  • Using "Merry Christmas" as a greeting or a goodbye or a thank you.
  • uh, Sharing—no,, ummmm
Okay, so I only have one lead that actually begins in a gerund, but that doesn't mean good ideas haven't been shared. E-style pointed out that the Christmas Spirit is really the Spirit, so I guess having one is having the other. And T-sauce and I had a great conversation about the difficulty of pushing the entry-level Christmas sentiment beyond the cookies and snow to giving and goodwill and on through to a recognition and celebration of Christ. I still have questions concerning hypocrisy and growing bored with Christmas songs and the value of quality over quantity, but fear not: I am hot on the trail.

Tonight, Amanda and I made progress by attending the library's viewing of It's a Wonderful Life starring James Stewart and Donna Reed. But this wasn't just any viewing—not just a DVD copy thrown on a white wall. It was on film, projected by a projectionist, complete with cracks and pops and scratches and all that. It was Jimmy Stewart's personal copy of the film, the one he donated along with all his papers to the library back in 1983. So cool.

The film was preceded by a short, made around the same time, called "A Star in the Night." It was a cute recasting of the nativity in the California desert, complete with cowboys for wise men, a grumpy Italian innkeeper, a dude named Jose Santos and his wife Maria, and a huge light-up star bought second-hand from an old theatre.