Monthly Archives: June 2008

Minnesot-AH!

Actual store in the Mall of Endless Commercialism and the Country that Loves it.

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Things This Dinosaur wants to do Before Death (which may be soon)

I apologize, but there will probably not be any future posts until mid July. The reason for this is that I am going to MN…waaaaaay out in the MN boonies where there is no such thing as reliable internet and where this spoiled suburban dinosaur will be pretending she is camping in order to keep sane. Although, if you begged and pleaded with the E2 RA she just may post on her random adventures in the world of random-ass ministries and Christian radio.

But I am not entirely convinced that I won’t die on this trip…and I have so much left to do!

Things I still have left to do/be:

  1. I want to be Odysseus when I grow up. This has not happened thus far. Will someone, by tomorrow, propose going to war across the sea for ten years and then offend the gods so that I may wander around for awhile before I come home to slaughter the MRS degree seekers who will be seeking the-boy-who-makes-me-food (he is an engineer, you know)?
  2. I am not Richard Dawkins either. I can still get away with saying factual statements about the nature of reality without half the civilized world jumping down my throat. Not cool.
  3. I am not living in Rachel, Nevada nor have I ever. I cannot die without having lived at least six months in Rachel, Nevada.
  4. I have not yet opened my very own Tim Horton’s franchise in my basement.
  5. I want to have PZ Myers call me a name, any name will do. He recently called Ken Ham a “Wackaloon”, which you have to admit is pretty cool. I want a name too, but I do not want to have to become an idiot in order to get one (or a creationist, but I repeat myself).
  6. I have not yet managed to get a punch in edgewise in my epic (going on four years!) battle with Ancient Greek. I don’t want nor do I need victory in this matter, but just once I would like the satisfaction of knowing what the hell I’m doing when I’m translating.
  7. I need to get the ‘ex-leper’ scene from “The Life of Brian” on my i-pod.
  8. So much hummous…not enough time! Same goes for Ice Capps from Tim Horton’s.
  9. I want to be cremated with some custom Converse All Stars that have yet to be purchased.
  10. I still only have one tattoo on my body…

Toledo, and how it sucks

For the past few days I have been visiting my grandma in Toledo, OH (which has to be the old people capital of the world, next to Florida. It seems that everyone has a grandparent that lives there). My grandma’s favorite store is Elder Beerman’s, which is the greatest old people store ever. Whenever we go I am always the youngest customer in the store by 40+ years.

Anyways, there are a lot of ways in which I could point out how lame Toledo is, but I shall instead leave you with some pics from E.B.’s.

Pardon me for momentarily going into AOL speak, but I feel that it most applies here: “Omg, WTF?” Who the hell thought that this was a good way to advertise? It’s srsly the creepiest thing ever.Srsly, what the hell were they thinking?

What say you?

Alright, I must admit that the last few days I have not been exactly flowing when it comes to ideas. Hence, I thought it might be a fun idea to let somebody else suggest a topic. It doesn’t necessarily have to pertain to Calvin College, I’m pretty sure most other communities have insane quirks too (although, truth to told, I am far more knowledgeable about Christian quirks, being a card-carrying member (kinda!) in the church).

So, let’s hear them!

“I don’t think God is calling us to be together”

It’s the Christian way of saying, “it’s not you, it’s me.”

What it is: A favorite break up line at Calvin College.

What it does: Its a handy way to do what we have been trained to do, put God into everything, while blaming him for your own lack of interest/her BO/his partying ways, etc. Not only does this tactic make you look more spiritual (and more in-touch with the big guy) but it always does two very important things; it makes it not about you and also makes it all about you.

It takes the focus off yourself because no further questions will be asked. The dumpee won’t bother to ask the whys, hows or if there is ever a chance of getting back together because who is going to argue with God? Adding to that is the fact that most students at Calvin are Calvinists and all about predestination so of course who are they to argue that you two aren’t predestined to not be together?

It also makes it all about you because, as stated before, it makes you look waaaay more spiritual. It is also a subtle dis, God is calling you on to bigger and better things than what your ex could ever give you. It also gives you an out as to why that Philippine MK has been catching your eye lately and why a week later you will be parading around campus arm in arm with the aforementioned  Philippine MK.

The cheap and safe education: Disney Movies

I admit, I’m not sure whether or not this is merely a Calvin thing, a sheltered Christian college student thing, or if it be found in the real world (although I have heard reports of a related activity, coloring books, being found among the repressed Dutch at GVSU).

I mentioned her briefly in my previous entry on Babel Boy, but she is too good of a character to pass up, Disney Girl, especially as she represents a behavior found among many at Calvin.I assume she was from one of the big Christian high schools in Chicago (since 2/3 of my history class was). She was unremarkable in everyway but one: she wanted to watch a corresponding Disney Movie for each region of the world we covered (this was an intro class, so every continent was represented in some way). She didn’t just suggest this, she though it was an infinitely good idea which would help us get a deep and nuanced look at each culture (she didn’t use the word ‘nuanced’, but she implied a similar idea).

She even went so far as to suggest watching The Lion King during the chapters on Sub-Saharan Africa. Another time we saw the light of reason dawn on her face as she asked, “Wait! The Huns were the bad guys in Mulan, right? Oh, that makes sense now!” The only things she knew about history she had gleaned from Disney movies (which, 3 out of 3 scholars agree, is a worse source than Wikipedia).

Ask most girls (and not ones that look like outsiders either, but the typical Calvin girl) to list their favorite movies and at least one Disney Movie will pop up. They will assure you that John Smith and Pocahantas fell in love, that hunchbacks really did live in Notre Dame and they pronounce the name Herakles incorrectly, among other things. Dudes will often fall into this as well. Most, in a discussion touching upon history will cite a Disney movie once or twice too.Mulan

A Calvin Case Study: Babel Boy

There are many bizarre breeds of human walking around Calvin College’s campus, and today I shall present a particularly interesting case study I came upon a few years back, with some updates on his condition provided by Everyone’s Favorite E2 Roommate (hereafter known as E2’s RA).

Babel Boy: Man, Myth, Legend

Core Classes always involve a strange mix of characters, hippies, indie scum, YECs, Messianic Jews, dudes who believe that God speaks to them through the fat squirrels, the random Atheist, etc, etc. But every once in awhile one comes across a pure example of all that is wrong with the pop Christian world (and homeschooling and a dozen other things).

He was a freshman who appeared in my history class that I had to take for core. There were a plethora of other asinine characters in that class (I’m looking at you Disney Movie girl) but he took top prize for most irritating.

The first few days we discussed different creation myths from different cultures and such things like the Exodus. On the third day we discussed how we, as Christians, reconciled our own creation story with science. The- entity- soon- to- be- called- Babel- Boy asked the prof towards the end of class where he thought dinosaurs came from (Thought? Thought?). Our prof, being the exceedingly wise man he was who actually paid attention when he gave the definitions of history and prehistory the first day of class, ignored the question. But the future Babel Boy went on, “My little brother thinks they never existed and that God put them there to fool us.” He then went on to throw out some strawmen concerning evolution and trying to steer the discussion in that direction.

I added that I don’t take Genesis literally on the same way that I do not take the Epic of Gilgamesh literally (although I do enjoy the journeys of Gilgamesh and Enkidu a lot). Which lead to silence for a few seconds before people starting whispering things about me being a heathen or atheist (I was neither at the time) and scooting their desks farther away from mine. This also later led to a conversion attempt by the future Babel Boy (Christians trying to convert other Christians is a very curious practice).

Next day we had read a chapter in the textbook about the development of language, toolmaking, weaving, etc. Babel Boy states “The process of language development taking thousands of years just sounds much too impossible for me…” He then proceeds to tell us that he considers the story of the Tower of Babel to be much more conceivable (this is also where he gets his name).

The next day, walking to class and happily pondering what other hilarious scenes might take place that class, I hear a loud “HEY!” behind me and I turn to see Babel Boy barreling toward me. “Hi, how are you doing?” he asks once he catches up. [Think Hilary Faye in Saved! saying “Let’s show her how cool we Christians can be!”]
“Uh, good. You?”
“Oh, good, good. What’s your major?”
“Classics. You?”
“Education.”
[resisting my urge to gag] “Cool”
….

After my prof thought we were dating (leading me to try to find a sword to fall on) he never talked to me again. Probably because he found another, more exciting not-quite-literalist Christian to try to convert via friendship.

But now the E2 RA has informed me that he has appeared in several of her classes too. In this incarnation he is undecided as to his major (but randomly taking higher level psychology courses) and really wants to get married. I, being the benevolent dinosaur I am, has decided to help him out in this respect (as he surely will not find such a woman trying to be cool at 1237 parties). So if you are interested, please fill out this short questionnaire and myself or an associate will get back to you if we think you might be a match.

1. Are you “fearfully and wonderfully made”?

2. How does the above information apply to your life?

3. Where do dinosaurs come from?

4. Where does a younger sibling think dinosaurs came from?

5. At the Tower of Babel, did God spilt the language-speakers into such groups as Indo-European, Dravidian, etc or were modern languages such as English represented?

6. Information on where we may reach you.