Monday, February 27, 2006

I'm Engaged.

I have recently come to see that there are many people who read this blog that I don't have the opportunity to talk with on a regular basis. Thanks!

To those of you who I have not yet found the opportunity to talk to, let me announce here my engagement to a wonderful little woman named Rachel McCowin. I really thought that after getting engaged, the love I have for this woman would begin to plateau, but I have experienced just the opposite. I find myself more in love with her now than I have been yet. I woke up this morning missing her more than I have missed her in our time of dating. This is the best feeling I think I have ever had, and I don't say that so that single people can feel left out. I say that because I know that God has called me to be with Rachel, and by submitting to that, but swallowing that frightening pill of a lifetime commitment to this broken woman, I am finding joy beyond what I thought was possible. In short, what I'm saying is that in one more place in my life, I am finding that submitting to the will of God is a very comfortable place to be.

A note: I am wearing an engagement ring... and I want people to understand why. I am wearing a ring because I think the current tradition is antiquated and speaks of a time when marriage was the beginning of a woman's life of submission to a man. I don't want that to be the case with Rachel and I. I am wearing an outward sign of my submission to my future wife, and she is wearing a sign of submission to me. My engagement ring is really just a way for me to tell the world the same thing Rachel is telling the world. "I'm spoken for."

That being said, I don't want anyone to hear something that I'm not saying. I don't want people to hear "Men who don't wear engagement rings are chauvenist pigs." I don't think that. If anything, men who don't wear engagement rings should probably be more respected for their submission to a tradition that goes back who knows how many hundreds of years. I, on the other hand, might be acting out of some all-too-modern desire to reform tradition. Some things in life don't need to be updated. Some do. After much thought, this was one thing in my life that I wanted to be on the reforming edge of. I wanted to be part of a movement that has men wearing engagement rings. That's all. It's just one small thing that symbolizes a big thing.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Grandpa Elek

Much to my alarm, I received a phone call from my mother on Valentine's day, at 7:30 in the morning informing me that my Grandpa Elek had a heart attack and died in his sleep. He was my last Grandparent.

I don't really know what to do with the information. I loved my Grandpa a lot. He was a really jovial wonderful old walrus of a man with a great shiny bald head, and a white bristly mustache. It's going to be very difficult to see him in that wooden box.

The more I think about things, the more I realize how numb I am to death. I guess I'm trying to take a more accepting view of death. Rather than being angry, or rather than feeling depressed and sad, I'm trying to realize that it's just part of the way things work. I don't deny that I'm saddened by the loss of my grandfather, I guess I'm just wondering how much good it would do to get worked up about something as inevitable as the sunrise.

I have been thinking a lot about the afterlife as well. Where is my Grandfather? He hated religion. With a passion. So I guess he's in hell. But, he loved people so much and was such a good person in comparison, that I think maybe God is allowing him into heaven. Maybe God is talking to Grandpa Elek right now saying: "You never hated me. You hated the Church. And frankly, the Church gave you plenty of reasons." Maybe God is telling my Grandpa right now "You know all about Jesus, and you like him. You hate the people who choked you to death on the false loveless judgement of my son. You don't hate me, you hate the lies you were told about me."

I guess what I'm wondering is this: Grandpa Elek hated religion because the people who told him about Jesus were pushy, arrogant, insensative, judgemental, calloused, unintelligent, self-righteous, snide, unforgiving, unloving, joyless, hypocritical malicious human beings. He hated all of it. So, Grandpa didn't care much for God because the people who told him about God didn't really tell him about God. They told him about something else. Some eternally arrogant, insensative, judgemental, calloused, unforgiving, joyless god that sent the majority of his creation to an eternal hell. Now, does my Grandpa go to hell for hating that God? Or does he get to the gates and realize what God really is? Does he get to decide on God after seeing the real thing? Or does he go to hell hating the false God that he was told about here?

I really don't know. I know Scripture tells me he can't get there without Christ. But, I'm not sure he was ever given the opportunity to meet Christ because the people who initially exposed him to Christ exposed him to an unloving Christ. An Anti-christ. So what happens to my grandpa after refusing to submit to the anti-christ?

I hope no ultra-conservative Christians respond to this by telling me the things I already know about their insensative self-righteous beliefs. Let me start by telling you guys, I am a Christian, and I think Christ is about love. I'm trying to find out how Christ is going to love my grandfather now that my grandfather is dead.

Monday, February 13, 2006


How in the star dot poundsign ampersand do you spell Hitchhiker? From here on out I will spell the word hitchhiker like this: Thegx. Nevermind.

So, today, I was driving home from (pittsburgh) and I had to stop to buy gas. My older brother Jeremy sent me a gas card in the mail because I am low on funds this month, and so I had to stop at a BP. After getting gas, I had to fill my car with windshield wiper fluid, and it was just really freaking cold. My hands hurt when I got back in the car.

Then, as I jumped on I-70 west, I saw a man on the side of the road who looked a whole star dot dollarsign of a lot like my father. He had a white canvas bag on the ground and he was Thegxing for a ride. I stopped the car feeling badly because it was so star dot at-signing cold outside. He threw his stuff in the back and jumped up front with me and blew into his hands. (Which were red and cracked at the knuckles.) He said "Thanks man, I'm going to Wheeling but I'll take a ride as far as you can get me."

I was going to Wheeling, so I told him. He then sniffed in through his nose and said "Sorry man, I was walking all day yesterday and it got pretty slushy. I try to keep a clean pair of socks on, but I slept on the stairs of some church last night, so I think my feet might stink. I hate that. I gotta get some laundry done or something."

I couldn't smell anything and I told him so, and he was glad to hear it. The rest of the drive he told me all about himself and why he was homeless now. It turns out he's 62 years old (A bit older than my father) and he was in the navy during Vietnam (like my father) after the war, he worked in a factory (like my father). Then the steel mill he was working in closed down, and after a series of mills closing down and getting a divorce, here he was. On his way to Wheeling because he knew of a place to spend the night there. After that, he's headed out to Columbus because he's a diabetic (like my grandmother) and he can get insulin from the VA hospital out there.

I felt terribly for him, but I'm glad to have given him a ride at least. I dropped him off at the Library and hopefully he'll have a warm place to stay tonight. The whole thing just breaks my heart because of how much he reminded me of my dad.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


I was just thinking today about the taxes gathered from the circulation of a single one dollar bill. Here's what I mean.

You earn one dollar on Saturday. You pay about twenty-four cents from that dollar into income tax. Then you spend your dollar at the store. When you spend it, seven cents go to sales tax. Then the store owner claims that dollar as income, and spends sixteen cents on income tax. He then pays the cashier with that dollar, and the cashier gives twenty-four cents of that dollar as income tax. (So, from your hands to the hands of the cashier who you gave the dollar to, the dollar has raised seventy-one cents in taxes. That happens in one day.)

Let's pretend that dollar is spent every day. (I think it would be a fair under-estimate to claim that on average, Americans spend a dollar a day.) If the average dollar bill remains in circulation for three years, (that's 1,095 days) and earns seventy-one cents in taxes every day) by the time that dollar is retired, it has generated $771.45 in taxes for the American government.

Now, don't quote any of these numbers. I just thought it was an interesting thought experiment. Maybe that's why the government doesn't like it when we color on money.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Boy am I Tired

Last week was absolutely nuts for me. I went about a million miles an hour the whole week long, and now it's a new week, and there's no sign of things slowing down. I'm really looking forward to this weekend so I can get out of here for a while, though this weekend is going to be kind of nuts as well. (Rachel and I are going to a couple's retreat where we'll talk about thinking about the future.) I think it will be a very good conference for us to go to, but I'm worried that I'll be too tired to invest in it fully. I really need to shuffle some appointments around my calendar and give myself some more free time.

Ugh. And I promised that this blog wouldn't become a pseudo-journal. Sorry.