September 26th, 2014 by Toby T
I spent most of this week at work cleaning up other people’s messes. In a way I mean that both figuratively and literally, in that the messes were more virtual than physical, being messes of the bytes inside of computers.
I asked God why it was that he let people come into my systems and break stuff. He said it was his way of keeping me humble. I told him I thought I was humble enough, but he just grinned and said that was my ego telling me that.
September 19th, 2014 by Toby T
God and Jesus walk into a bar. The bartender looks at the two of them and then asks, “Where’s the Holy Spirit?”
God says, “That bottle in your hand will have to do.”
Jesus says, “I’ll just have a glass of water.”
September 12th, 2014 by Toby T
Last week I went camping. It’s kind of nice to be able to sit out with God, poking at the campfire after everyone else has gone to bed. He likes it too, because it gives him a chance to show off the Milky Way, which he doesn’t much get to do in the city.
I got to add a new carnivore to my seen-in-the-wild list, a fox. I’m not sure I even knew we had foxes here in California, but there he was, so now I know.
Also, we all know what a bear does in the woods. I can now also tell you what they don’t do. They don’t chew their food properly, and trust me it’s not a pretty thing to find out.
September 5th, 2014 by Toby T
I bought a new laundry basket. I know that doesn’t sound like much but I did it without doing any comparison shopping or research. Okay, I bought it from a store whose stocking judgement I trust, but still.
See, for the last several years, that’s right, years, I’ve just been putting my dirty clothes into a pile on the floor until I had enough clothes and time to do a load. When I think back on it, the last time I bought a laundry basket was when I lived in an apartment where I had to go outside and wind my way through the buildings to get to the laundry room. So that sort of counts as buying one under duress. This time I bought it just to make my space a little bit neater, a little bit tidier.
It’s not the money. I spent less on the basket than most lunches cost me these days. It’s that I bought something that is to have semi-permanence in my home, something with which I will interact on a daily basis, and I didn’t make sure that I was getting the best fit for my sensibilities, my lifestyle, and my budget. I’d say it was almost impulsive, except that I bought it at a store where I shop every couple of weeks and twice I almost bought it, picked it up and held it but then put it back, before finally taking it on the third trip.
God says he was the same way when he wanted to put some in-his-imageness out there. There were all these good choices available, chimps, raccoons, bears, but he finally got tired of not committing and didn’t feel like looking at all the possible futures, so when Adam and Eve came along he zapped them. Pretty soon we were hunting and gathering and talking up a storm. And needing laundry baskets.
August 29th, 2014 by Toby T
I spend far too much time looking at (clothed) women’s bellies.
I do it while riding the train to and from work. See, I’m in the habit of sitting in one of the seats near the doors when I ride at commute times. The seats that are supposed to be given up to the elderly, the handicapped, and the pregnant. I’m old enough myself that between my grey beard and my balding head I’ve been offered these seats by other riders, but I’m not yet old enough that I’ve ever accepted such an offer. So I’m sensitive that it can sometimes be a jarring and even unwelcome thing to be offered access to one of these seats.
I watch for people obviously older than I am and I watch for people that clearly have a need to not have to stand. But on the judgement calls, well I’d like to say I’m erring on the side of not hurting people’s feelings but I’m pretty sure I’m just being as selfish as I can without feeling too bad about myself.
And I watch for pregnant ladies. And I struggle to discern the difference between pregnant and pudgy. One thing I don’t want to do is to inadvertently point out to someone that she is getting a little fat. Some people are very sensitive about that.
So I spend a lot of time looking at women’s bellies. To make up for having to do that I also spend some time looking at the crotches of men who are standing right in front of me and speculate about what lies hidden. God says that doesn’t really “make up” for it, but hey it makes me feel better, so it must be good, right?
August 22nd, 2014 by Toby T
There’s a meme running around that is expressed in the phrase, “first world problems.” I used the phrase the other day in conversation with God and he stopped me and made me define my terms. I don’t think it was so much because he didn’t understand them, or me, as it was just that he wanted to get me to focus so that I could better understand what he wanted to say next.
To me the phrase is a sort of post-modern recognition that the thing I’m about to complain about is pretty high up in the hierarchy of needs. Generally, so high up that I (or whoever) feel kind of guilty bothering to complain about it at all.
God says that although the particular expression is recent, the concept that our complaints may be trivial compared with those of our forebears is not. He says that one of the first times he talked to someone about it with someone was with a caveman complaining that the limited palette of pigments available to him didn’t allow his drawings on the wall to really capture the essential spirit of that day’s hunt.
August 15th, 2014 by Toby T
We lost Robin Williams this week. He was something of a superhero in the realm of comedy, but he had his kryptonite. God and I have been watching such of his films as I have in my collection. She tried to warn me that it wasn’t a good idea to watch The World According to Garp in the same week as Dead Poet’s society, but I’m notoriously bad at taking her advice.
The thing that stands out about his career, to me, is that there is so much work that only existed because he was there to make it. I’ve seen the stage version of Aladdin at Disney’s California Adventure more times than I’ve seen the movie, but as good as the stage genie is, it’s always clear that he’s doing Robin Williams. That movie only existed as a showpiece for Robin. God says so, so don’t let anyone tell you different. Mork and Mindy couldn’t have existed without Robin.
And Dead Poet’s Society. A brilliant film, directed by the always brilliant Peter Weir, but even for that, I can’t imagine anyone else in Robin’s role.
Sure he had his flubs, but I’ll not name them here. The world was a better place with him in it, but now that he’s gone, the world is still a better place, both for him having been in it, and for the work he’s left behind.