Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Definitely time for an update

First, I’m feeling much better, thank you. Most of whatever it was had passed by last Monday evening, when I felt well enough to voraciously wolf down two incredibly delicious burritos at dinner.

All last week I worked on a project that turned out extremely well, if I do say so myself :) I will post pictures on Friday, hopefully, when it will be “safe” to do so. I’ll also tell you all about the process, because a lot was involved to get it to its finished state.

My mum mailed me a bunch of cards I’d done a couple weeks ago and that she found hanging out at home in NY. On Saturday I photographed all of them in six or seven sets for selling them on etsy. I’ve read on the forums that it’s ideal to list once or twice a day, rather than all at once, because it keeps you at the top of the search lists and, therefore, people are more likely to see and click on your item. The default way of listing search results is by date listed, and since people list thousands and thousands of things every day, one’s products can quickly fall to page 358 in the search results. I also typed up some info for each set on Saturday, so that for the past couple of days, real quick in the morning and in the evening, I can fill out the forms for listing and get in one or two new items a day. It’s worked- I’ve gotten more views on those items, and a few more views in my shop in general (though the view counters are constantly resetting- arg), than I’d been getting before this week. Huzzah!

My cell phone has a mind of its own. I’ve always sort of suspected this, because I have a bad habit of anthropomorphizing inanimate objects (especially when they refuse to operate the way I want them to), but now it’s confirmed. How do I know? How can I be so sure? It’s this- my phone calls people without my knowing it. I think somehow I lean up against things while I’m working, with my phone in the front pocket of my jeans, and somehow the phone manages to unlock itself (it’s one of those Sony Ericsons that doesn’t flip open), go to the recent calls menu and hit redial. Once it even unlocked, went to the main menu, scrolled over to the address book, scrolled down in the address book, and called someone I haven’t talked to in years (Greg). I don’t know if that was even still his phone number…hopefully if he did answer (he never called back, but it did happen twice) he wasn’t too weirded out. My phone has also called Marli and Jordan. Annoying!

I just finished listening to “Anansi Boys” by Neil Gaiman on cd. It was pretty great. Clean and funny. The narrator was excellent- I think the book was better in audio format than it could have been in text. I keep meaning to do some reviews and write some thoughts on the other books I listened to- namely, “The Reluctant Mr. Darwin”, but I can’t seem to get there. Maybe that’s ok- a lot of it would be lamentations over the science vs. religion stuff. But I did get what I was looking for from that book: 1) Darwin was not a Christian, he was agnostic. 2) Mrs. Darwin was a Christian 3) a lot of scientists of that time, and now too, of course, had a totally distorted view of God. Ok, fine, I have to elaborate.
1) Darwin had been Christian/“religious”/Unitarian. The author actually kind of contradicted himself with this one, saying both that Darwin had been non-religious from the start, being of Unitarian background. He also stated that Darwin had been known at University for his Bible-quoting ways. Um? Well, at any rate, he became agnostic over the course of several decades, so slowly, claims the author, that the loss of his (supposed) love for God didn’t shock or worry him. That actually sounds incredibly shocking and scary to me…anyway, he came to disbelieve because of several things. First, he couldn’t get over why there was evil in the world and how a benevolent God could “allow” bad things to happen to “good” people. This stumbling block kind of confuses me, if the Bible-quoting Darwin is an accurate portrait of his early religious convictions. I mean, we deal with this issue in like, the first five chapters of the Bible. Second, why would a “busy” God spend his precious time creating, in this case, tiny variations in barnacles? Surely He has better things to do, right? Hmmm…as if creating makes God tired. As if God isn’t infinitely more creative and efficient than we can possibly imagine. What seemed so odd to me is that Darwin spent eight years of his life meticulously (obsessively?) studying a few varieties of barnacles. Eight years. Didn’t he have anything better to do with his time? Third- I forget if this was actually one of Darwin’s musings or just that of the author, he wonders how a good God could create something like a cat, which appears to torture and kill tiny helpless animals for fun. How could He create something so cruel? Again, we go back to the first few chapters of the Bible and discover that, when mankind sinned and fell, so did nature. I’m sure the time will come when the lion will lay down with the lamb instead of devouring it, when the child will put its hand in the viper’s nest and it will not strike, and when the mouse and cat will frolic and play in the meadow instead of the cat dismembering and eating all of the mouse but its ears. But for now, all these things are in enmity with one another.
2) Darwin’s wife was also his cousin. They loved each other very much, and Charles was able to share his doubts with her. It troubled her greatly, and she told him so, but to no avail. Other than this, though, I thought it was cool how devoted to each other they seemed.
3) The distorted view of God goes mainly back to the one or two things mentioned under “1)”. It suggests, unfortunately and also not surprisingly, that scientists who dismiss the idea of a creative God (not even just creationism) have never even tried to read the Bible. It’s true that the Bible is not a scientific text book, but I do think it can and should be taken as accurate. Even in the way it describes the formation of the world. I do think that God made, in the space of six days, all that we see. I do not necessarily believe that He created, one by one and at that time, every variety of finch and barnacle that Darwin studied. I think it would be within God’s wisdom and creativity, for Him to create all creatures with the ability to adapt. Otherwise, they wouldn’t really be very good creations. God also told all the living things to be fruitful and multiply, and so to help them do that, He put in them the ability to adapt to their environments, wherever they went. Maybe He also knew that these humans of His would start seriously messing up the planet, and that, along with natural worldwide climate changes, would necessitate all things having the ability to change.

Ok, I feel a tad awkward about writing this next part- but I really don’t think I should feel that way, and that’s part of the reason I’m going to go ahead and write it. (Hi, I’m Kristin and I’m over-analytical.) Bart and I went out for our third anniversary of dating (!) to this cool Brazilian place in Old Town. He gave me flowers when he picked me up :) Anyway, the food was pretty awesome, and it was a lot of fun guessing what different things were on the menu. We’re inspired now to try some Brazilian cooking. After dinner we walked around the uber-preppy streets, lined with shops meant for rich white people and, to keep you firmly grounded in reality, a few homeless people as well. One of them was selling some really, really cool drawings of his on a blanket next to where he sat. We browsed “Sur la Table”, which was jam-packed with all sorts of awesome, shiny cooking things, and then went next door to this artsy paper goods place. I can’t remember the name due to being distracted by the intense glow radiating from this shop, and the loud chorus of angelic singing emanating from all around me. Papersource, maybe? It had quite a selection of really, really pretty art paper with printed designs all over it. I don’t know exactly what this paper is called, but I should look it up online and try and buy some cheaper than the $6-15 per sheet that they cost in most stores. Or…I should just make my own. :)

After driving back to Bart’s house (hooray Jordan for letting us borrow his car!!), we watched Brian Regan’s “Standing Up” with Bart’s housemates. It. Was. Awesome. I don’t care how you get ahold of a copy of this performance, but you need to. And you need to do it now. It was brilliant.

Wow, this is getting long….time to go, then :)


Nicholas said...

yay! new blog post!

where are you getting your audiobooks again? I forget...

on the phone front, mine goes on strike too. It will show full battery until you try to call someone, and then goes dead in about 15 seconds. turn it back on, and tadaa! full battery again. perhaps the machine uprising is at hand.

hmm... now I want to read that book, sounds very interesting.

awwww... 3 years eh? (unless you're counting smaller increments) congrats n things!

Bart said...

Long and awesome update! Yaaay!

I would indeed like to make some Brazilian-inspired food at some point. That stuff was tasty.